Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus is Born

Luke 2:1-20

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - God Calls Moses (Exodus 3-4)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger. Luke 2:7

Opening Prayer

When Was Christ Born? (Luke 2:1-3)
    What was Luke's purpose in writing his gospel?
      Luke 1:1-4 = To accurately record the facts surrounding Jesus
    With what facts does Luke begin the story of Jesus' birth?
      Luke 2:1-3 = Caesar Augustus (27BC-14AD) ordered census, Quirinius - governor of Syria

    Caius Octavius - Grandnephew of Julius Caesar, 19 when Julius Caesar was killed (44 BC)
      Fought against Mark Antony for 14 yrs to take over, Won at Mark Antony's suicide
      Given title Augustus in 27 BC (undertaken under favorable auguries or well-omened)
      Brought time of peace called Pax Romana, ruled until 14 AD
    Quirinius (Kyrinios in Greek, Cyrenius in English) - Governor of Syria 6-4 BC and 6-9 AD
      Census in 6 AD led to revolts in Galilee, No record of census during early reign

    What do the other gospels say about when Jesus was born?
      John 1:1-3 = In the beginning Jesus was with God & was God
      Mark 1:9 = Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee
      Matthew 2:1 = During the time of King Herod
    Herod the Great - Ruled Judea 37-4 BC, Could have conducted census mentioned by Luke
      Jesus was therefore born between 6 and 4 BC, not 1 AD
    Dyonisius Exiguus - Roman theologian around 500 AD
      Said Jesus was born in 753 AUC (Ab Urbe Condita - From the founding of Rome)
      Widely accepted, 1 AD (Anno Domini - Year of our Lord) equated with 753 AUC
        Now understood to be 4-6 years off, Theologians range from 12 to 2 BC

Christmas Day
    What day was Jesus born?
      Dec 25? = Some say May 14 or Oct 25 - Sheep not in open Nov-Mar
    Saturnalia - 3 to 7-day winter festival in honor of Saturn, Roman god of agriculture
      Celebrated at winter solstice (days grow longer) = 12/25 on old Roman calendar, 12/21 now
    Mithraism (sun-worship) celebrated 12/25 as the birthday of the sun
      Roman Catholics began ~330 AD celebrating 12/25 as the birthday of the Son
    When do we celebrate Jesus' birth?
      Dec 25 - Protestant & Catholic, Jan 6 - Eastern Orthodox, Jan 19 - Armenian
    Christmas - Christ + Mass = Religious service (mass) celebrating the Christ

In the Fullness of Time (Galatians 4:4-5) - Bethel Picture
    Was Jesus born at a randomly chosen time?
      Galatians 4:4-5 = No. In the fullness of time ...
    Greek Empire
      Sword = World brought together by conquests of Alexander the Great
      Greek Pillar = Cultural barriers removed by spread of Hellenism (Greek thought)
      Greek Letters = Common language allowed unhindered communications
    Roman Empire
      Golden Eagle = Roman rule & unity eliminated power struggles
      White Flag = People lived without fear under the Pax Romana (Roman Peace)
      Roads and Coliseum = Network of roads for army provided easy travel
    Manuscript = Hebrew Promises and Dispersions
      Promises = Jews longed for the coming of the promised Messiah
      Dispersions = Earlier exiles carried the Hebrew message throughout the world
    Three Figures = Mankind desperately needed God's intervention
      Clasped Hands = Foreign gods & philosophy led to spiritual confusion
      Bowed Head = Roman way of life was filled with moral corruption
      Upraised Arms = Many searched for decency & justice

O Little Town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-5)
    Where did Joseph go to be registered in the census? = 72 miles, one week
      Luke 2:4-5 = To Bethlehem of Judea (the town of David)
    Why was Bethlehem called the town of David? = Also home of Ruth & Boaz
      1 Samuel 16:1, 10-11, 13 = David was born, raised & anointed in Bethlehem
    Why was it important for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem instead of Nazareth?
      Micah 5:2-4 = Messiah was prophesied to come out of Bethlehem
    Why does Micah call it Bethlehem Ephrathah?
      Genesis 35:19 = Bethlehem had been called Ephrath (Rachel buried there)
    How did this prophesy become a problem for people to Jesus as the Messiah (Christ)?
      John 7:41-43 = They assumed Jesus had been born in Galilee

    How was this town's blessing also its curse?
      Matthew 2:16 = Herod ordered all Bethlehem area baby boys killed
    Why was this event important? = Ramah (Samuel's home), Rachel (buried in B)
      Matthew 2:17-18 = Fulfilled prophesy from Jeremiah
    Herod the Great - Known for ruthless jealousy
      Had favorite wife and three sons executed - Better to be one of Herod's pigs than his son
      Ordered officials gathered & executed when he died to ensure people would mourn
        They were released instead, leading to a great celebration

    Bethlehem means house of bread. How is this significant?
      John 6:35 = I am the bread of life.
    Bread represents a basic necessity of life. How is Jesus our bread of life?
      John 6:32-33 = the bread of God ... gives life to the world

No Room in the Inn (Luke 2:6-7)
    What happened while Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem?
      Luke 2:6-7 = She gave birth to Jesus, laid him in a manger
    Why was there no room in the inn?
      Luke 2:3 = Everyone went to his own town to register, City crowded
    Birthing procedures in Jesus time:
      Joseph's role = Jewish men didn't act as midwives
      Mary's role = Jewish women were proud of delivering their own babies
      Salt = Baby washed, then salt rubbed on body to prevent infection
      Swaddling cloths = Restrained movements so arms & legs would grow straight & strong
        Long linen strips = Tightly wound daily for first 6 months
      Ezekiel 16:4-5 = Washing, salt & swaddling cloths by loving parents

The Royal Announcement (Luke 2:8)
    How did the Jews expect their Messiah to arrive?
      Isaiah 9:6-7 = In majesty & power as a king
    How did God plan to bring His promised Savior?
      Zechariah 9:9 = In humility and gentleness -- laid him in a manger

    To whom did the Jews expect the Messiah to be revealed?
      Matthew 2:1-2 = Kings, royalty, nobles, Pharisees, priests, ...
    To whom was the Messiah first proclaimed? = Jesus is the Good Shepherd
      Luke 2:8 = Shepherds, a lower class of society (came for sinners, not the righteous)

Shepherds Tending Flocks by Night (Luke 2:9-20)
    What surprised the shepherds as they tended their flocks at night?
      Luke 2:9 = An angel appeared with the glory of the Lord, they were terrified
    What did the angel say to calm their fears?
      Luke 2:10-11 = Don't be afraid. I bring good news, the Messiah has been born
    How did an angel calm fears after Jesus' rebirth (resurrection)?
      Mark 16:6-7 = Don't be alarmed. He has risen. You will see him
    How could the other angels restrain themselves at this great point of God's plan?
      Luke 2:13-14 = They couldn't, a great company of angels joined & praised God
    How would this baby bring peace to all men? = Christmas tree symbol of tree as cross
      Colossians 1:19-20 = Reconciled all things, making peace thru His blood on a cross

    How would the shepherds find this Savior?
      Luke 2:12 = The baby will be wrapped & lying in a manger
    How much attention did the shepherds give their sheep after seeing the angels?
      Luke 2:15-16 = None, they hurried off and found them
    How much attention did the shepherds give their sheep after seeing Jesus?
      Luke 2:17-19 = None, they spread the word
    Did the shepherds ever return to their sheep?
      Luke 2:20 = Yes, but they continued glorifying & praising God

God's Promises (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
    What promise to David did this birth fulfill?
      2 Samuel 7:12-13 = Raise up offspring & establish His kingdom forever
    What other promises has God kept to His people?
      Genesis 9:8, 11 = Promise to Noah not to destroy all life with flood
      Genesis 17:5-6 = Promise to Abraham of many descendants & kings
      Genesis 35:11-12 = Promise to Israel of descendants & land

    Does God always keep His promises?
      Psalm 145:13b = The Lord is faithful to all His promises.
    Through whom does God fulfill His promises?
      2 Corinthians 1:20 = All God's promises are "Yes" in Christ

    What promises has God made to us?
      Psalm 34:19 = Deliver us from our troubles
      Psalm 34:18 = Close to the brokenhearted, save the crushed in spirit
      John 14:2 = I am going there to prepare a place for you
      Mark 11:24 = Whatever you pray for, believe...and it will be yours
      Jeremiah 31:3 = He loves us with everlasting love

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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