Bible Stories for Adults

Mary & Elizabeth / The Birth of John

Luke 1:39-80

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Rejected at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Opening Prayer

Review of Two Weeks Ago (Luke 1:1-25)
    How does the historian Luke transition from the Old Testament into his story of Jesus?
      Luke 1:5-7
    What happened toward the ends of the lives of these faithful Jews?
      Luke 1:8, 11, 13
    Why would God send an angel just to tell an elderly couple they would have a child?
      Luke 1:14-17
    How did the angel reply when Zechariah couldn't believe what he was seeing and hearing?
      Luke 1:18-20
    What other proof was this couple given that what the angel said was true?
      Luke 1:24

Review of Last Week (Luke 1:26-38)
    What job is this arch-angel Gabriel assigned to next?
      Luke 1:26-27, 30-31
    Was Mary told anything about who this child really was?
      Luke 1:32-33
    Did Mary ask for proof or help believing this amazing announcement as Zechariah had?
      Luke 1:34
    How would Mary become pregnant even though it would be months before Joseph took her in?
      Luke 1:35
    Although she didn't ask for it, what proof did Gabriel give Mary for this impossible birth?
      Luke 1:36-37
    How faithfully did Mary accept this promise?
      Luke 1:38

A Small Select Sorority (Luke 1:39-40)
    With whom could Mary share this great news who wouldn't call her crazy?
      Luke 1:39-40
    Town assumed to be Hebron, a Levite town in the Judean hill country (Joshua 21:10-11)
      Hebron - Promise to Isaac, circumcision instituted, Abraham's first land, David crowned,
        Abraham/Sarah/Isaac/Rebekah/Jacob/Leah buried there

The Spirit's Greeting (Luke 1:41-45)
    How was the promise to Mary confirmed by Elizabeth even before they saw each other?
      Luke 1:41
    How do we know Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and not just happy to see her relative?
      Luke 1:42-43
    What did Elizabeth say to explain how she knew Mary would be the mother of the Messiah?
      Luke 1:44
    How could a baby leaping in a womb be taken as a sign from God?
      Luke 1:15
    Did Elizabeth praise Mary for being so holy that she would bear God's Son?
      Luke 1:45

Magnificat anima mea Dominum (Luke 1:46-55)
    How did Mary respond to Elizabeth's strange greeting?
      Luke 1:46-47
      Hebrew poetry often used synonymous parallelism (second line reiterates the first)

    What great things did Mary praise God for that He had done for her?
      Luke 1:48-49
    Was Mary boasting of herself when she said all generations will call me blessed?
      1 Corinthians 1:26-31

    What great things did Mary praise God for that He has done for us?
      Luke 1:50-53
    How has God scattered those who are proud and brought down rulers from their thrones?
      Matthew 23:2, 5-7, 11-12 (Rom 9:30-10:4)
    How do we see He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty?
      Mark 10:21-23, 26-27
    How does Jesus later explain these contrasts of humility and self-righteousness?
      Matthew 5:6 (3-12)
      (See also Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 2:11-12, 17; Psalm 107:9)

    What great things did Mary praise God for that He has done for Israel?
      Luke 1:54-55
    Why is it important to us that God has remembered to be merciful to His chosen people Israel?
      Deuteronomy 7:7-9

Mary Surprises Joseph (Luke 1:56)
    How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:56
    What surprised Joseph when he welcomed his betrothed Mary back to Nazareth?
      Matthew 1:18-19
    How did God protect the legal legitimacy of His only Son?
      Matthew 1:20, 24-25

John Is Born and Named (Luke 1:57-66)
    What happened soon after Mary returned to Nazareth?
      Luke 1:57-58
    When a birth was near, friends and local musicians would gather by the house
      When a boy was born, the musicians started playing and everyone celebrated
      If it was a girl, the musicians would leave quietly - Romans might throw the girl away
      Double celebration at this birth - Barren Elizabeth was blessed with a son

    What would happen to a Jewish boy eight days after his birth?
      Genesis 17:12
      Names were descriptive, parent's names were often given
    Neighbors and relatives would often help name a child:
      Ruth 4:16-17
    What name did Elizabeth's neighbors and friends naturally want to give this child?
      Luke 1:59-61

    How were the neighbors able to get Zechariah's decision since he couldn't speak or hear?
      Luke 1:62-63
      Writing tablet - Hollowed out wooden board filled with wax, inscribe into the wax
    What happened after Zechariah had officially given his son the unprecedented name John?
      Luke 1:64
    How did the neighbors respond to Zechariah's sudden ability to speak?
      Luke 1:65
    How did others respond when they heard what had happened?
      Luke 1:66

Benedictus dominus deus Israel (Luke 1:67-79)
    Besides the ability to speak, how else was Zechariah blessed after John was named?
      Luke 1:67
    Did Zechariah praise God for sending him this special son despite his old age?
      Luke 1:68

    Why did Zechariah praise God for coming? Didn't they believe He was always there?
      Luke 7:16-17
    If the people recognized Jesus as God come down, why did they kill Him?
      Luke 19:41, 44
    Did Jesus' followers understand that He came to redeem (pay the price) for Israel?
      Luke 24:20-21

    What did Zechariah say that told those around that He was speaking of the Messiah?
      Luke 1:69
    What did Jews think of when prophets spoke about a horn?
      Daniel 7:8, 24
    How would the people understand Zechariah's reference to a horn in David's house?
      Psalm 132:17

Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79)
    How does Zechariah make sure that those listening recognized what he is saying?
      Luke 1:70
    What was God doing for His people by sending this Messiah?
      Luke 1:71-73
    Why was God doing this?
      Luke 1:74-75

    How well did Zechariah understand his son's role in God's plan?
      Luke 1:76-77
    What prophesy did Zechariah understand that his son John would fulfill?
      Isaiah 40:3-5
    Why had Zechariah sung about the Messiah when thanking God for sending John?
      Malachi 3:1
    Is Zechariah praising God for sending John or the sun of righteousness promised in Malachi 4:2?
      Luke 1:78-79
    How would this rising sun shine on those living in darkness?
      Isaiah 60:1-3

Training for Messiah's Messenger (Luke 1:80)
    How was John raised in preparation for his ministry?
      Luke 1:80

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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