The Preparation. God’s Touch Felt.
Matthew 1:18-25 / Luke 1:39-56
- Trust the promise (Matthew 1:18-25).
- The Promise made known: God’s Word, God’s Way, God’s Work
- The Promise applied:
- Generally: “all of this took place to fulfill what was spoken” (Matthew 1:22)
- Respectively: “she will give birth to a son and you are to name Him Jesus” (Matthew 1:21, 23)
- Take joy in the promise (Luke 1:39-56)
- The significance of your joy builds upon the superiority of Jesus in your life. (Luke 1:39-45)
- The content of your joy builds upon a detail reflection of the promise. (Luke 1:46-55)
Questions for Further Discussion:
- What are the tabloid headlines this week?
- Why is our society so drawn to gossip and scandal?
- How do people typically react when facing embarrassing situations?
- What happened to Mary while she and Joseph were engaged? (Matthew 1:18)
- What do you think Joseph initially thought upon hearing this news about his bride-to-be? (Matthew 1:18-19)
- What positive character qualities did Joseph possess? (Matthew 1:19)
- How did Joseph plan to handle this delicate situation? (Matthew 1:19)
- How was Joseph’s ancestry significant? (Matthew 1:20)
- Why did Joseph change his plans to divorce Mary? (Matthew 1:20)
- If Joseph wasn’t the actual father of Christ, who was? (Matthew 1:18, 20)
- What did the angel command Joseph to name the child and why? (Matthew 1:21)
- What significant mission in life would Mary’s child have? (Matthew 1:21)
- Why is Mary’s virginal conception of Christ significant? (Matthew 1:22-23)
- What does Immanuel mean? (Matthew 1:23)
- How did Joseph respond to the angelic message? (Matthew 1:24)
- How might you have responded in Mary’s situation?
- What would have been your reaction had you been in Joseph’s situation?
- How do you think a typical church might have handled Mary’s pre-marriage pregnancy? How about our church?
- How do you imagine the “grapevine” treated the Mary-Joseph situation?
- How does it feel to be the victim of unsubstantiated rumors and gossip?
- How does it feel to know that you are innocent and yet have people attacking your character and whispering behind your back?
- How does our desire for approval or acceptance keep us from doing the right thing?
- What difficult, hard-to-swallow command of God do you need to obey today?
- How will you respond the next time someone begins to tell you a juicy bit of gossip?
- In what ways could we describe both Mary and Elizabeth as “blessed” women?
- How did Elizabeth indicate that she knew what her and Mary’s pregnancies meant?
- How would you describe the mood in Zechariah’s home during the time Mary visited?
- Judging from Elizabeth’s experience, what is it like to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- How does it feel to be genuinely complimented by someone older than you?
- What significance do you think it had for Mary that Elizabeth knew the importance of Mary’s baby?
- What words best describe Mary’s attitude?
- What reasons can we give for calling Mary a woman blessed by God?
- What evidence do we have today that God is still keeping His promises?
- How can we illustrate God’s “bringing down rulers and lifting up the humble” today?
- What different methods have you used to tell others your experiences with God?
- What actions of God which Mary mentioned have you observed or experienced?
- How does God show mercy to us today?
- In what way can you glorify the Lord and rejoice in your Savior this week?
- What person close to you still needs to hear you express your faith?
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