The text for this lesson is Luke 1:26–38.
- In the womb of Mary, Jesus, the Son of God, became a man so that we sinful people might become adopted children of God and share in the inheritance of heaven.
- Law: I am sinful at birth, sinful from the time of my conception, and thus spiritually dead. We don’t grow into being sinners any more than we grow into being humans. From the second we are alive, we are also dead spiritually. We join David in his lament: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
- Gospel: God’s Son, Jesus, as born sinless in order to take my sin upon Himself and redeem me. The Son of God leaves no part of our lives unredeemed. He crosses every t and dots every i in the human experience. Even as a tiny fetus, a near-microscopic baby, God—Jesus—is our Savior. Holy from the time His mother conceived Him, He makes us holy from the womb to the tomb.
Half a year before Gabriel appeared to Mary, he visited the aged priest Zecharaiah and informed him he would soon become a daddy (Luke 1:5–25). Zecharaiah and his equally old wife, Elizabeth, though childless, would soon cuddle their own diapered bundle of joy. Therefore, this story about Mary begins “In the sizth month…” that is, a half a year after John the Baptist was conceived. The forerunner of Jesus had to be “fore.” He would be born first, the old before the new.
Mary, probably in her early to late teens, lived in Nazareth, a most un-royal city in northern Israel. The Messiah would not be conceived and born in the Israelite equivalent of Hollywood or DC, but to a humble home and family.
Discussion Points and Questions
- Read Luke 1:26–38. How does Gabriel address Mary? What “title” does he give her? Does Gabriel give any indication why he calls her this?
- What is Mary’s reaction to this greeting?
- Read Isaiah 7:14. Compare this with what Gabriel says to Mary in Luke 1:31. What are the similarities and differences you see in these accounts?
- Let’s look at Gabriel’s description of the rule of Jesus (Luke 1:32–33) in light of words from two Old Testament prophets. Of whom do the prophets speak in these Old Testament passages? How does Jesus fulfill all these things that are promised to David? Read 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and Isaiah 9:6–7.
- How will Mary conceive and bear a son while she is still a virgin? What is the significance of Jesus being born without an earthly father?
- Read Romans 5:12–21 and John 3:6. How is this an example of faith? What are some ways that we can express this faith in our own vocations?
- How are these truths taught in this passage from Luke? What does it mean for us that Jesus is both true God and true man? How is this confession a comfort to us today?
- What does it mean for us in our daily responsibilities and activities and in those difficult and trying times of illness, sorrow, or conflict? Does God really care about them?
For next week, we will discuss a different visit: the angel’s visit to Joseph. Read Matthew 1:18–25. Compare and contrast this visit with the visit to Mary. How is Joseph’s response similar to Mary’s? How is it different?
Additional CPH Resources
|LifeLight: Luke, Part 1 Enrichment Magazine (20-3655)
This 9-session study is part of the LifeLight Bible study series of in-depth studies of Bible books. The goal of LifeLight is that through a regular program of in-depth personal and group study of Scripture, more and more Christian adults may grow in their personal faith in Jesus Christ.
|God’s Word for Today: Luke (20-3556)
(12 sessions) Luke’s carefully written Gospel, compiled from both oral and written accounts, points to God’s gracious salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. The peace that Christ has brought to the world enables us to break out in a liturgy of praise. The salvation story did not end with Christ’s ascension, however; Christ’s Church is called to go to “all nations”-men, women, children, the poor, the sick, and the disenfranchised-proclaiming the victory found only in Jesus Christ.
|People’s Bible Commentary: Luke (12-8228)
Christ-centered Bible truths unfold as you read this complete series of commentaries designed for spiritual growth and reading enjoyment. These trustworthy commentaries help you comprehend what you’ve read in Scripture as well as apply it to your life.
|Concordia Commentary Series: Luke 1:1—9:50 (15-6019)
This is the first of two volumes that look at the Book of Luke. In these two volumes, the author explores the third Gospel in light of four central themes:
The author recognizes and unfolds Luke’s catechetical purpose in the story of Jesus and helps modern readers to appreciate the rich tapestry of the Gospel of Luke.