Archive for the ‘angels’ tag
The text for this lesson is Luke 2:1–20.
- To you, is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
- Law: Because of sin, I am afraid and helpless before God and I deserve to die.
- Gospel: God sent His Son, Jesus, to save me from sin and death.
- Why is Christmas a particularly fitting time to celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
- Around this time of year, you often see the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” on church signs and billboards. Read Luke 2:10–11. Who does the angel say is the reason for the season? Read John 1:1–4. How do we know that Jesus does not need a season for His own sake?
- “Christmas is for children,” people often say. Usually they mean that the excitement of music and presents and Santa Claus is particularly for little children. Read John 1:12–14. How is it that, in a very real and positive sense, Christmas is for children? In what negative way are all of us too often children at Christmas?
- When you hear that something is a story, do you think first of fiction or nonfiction? When discussing the Christmas story and Bible stories with others, how can we best communicate that they are not just made-up?
- We should thank God for the remarkable literary and historical skills that Luke received from Him. In his Gospel, Luke eloquently and accurately portrays Jesus as a real man born within an actual historical context. How do we know that Luke was careful to keep his facts straight? Read Luke 1:1–4. What statements in Luke 2:1–2 provide the historical setting for this factual account? Why do you think Luke sets Jesus’ birth on the stage of well-known world history?
- King David was from Bethlehem and was a shepherd (1 Samuel 16:1, 11). We saw in Lesson 2 that the promised Messiah (also known as the Christ or Anointed One) would come from David’s household (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Why was it necessary that Jesus be born in Bethlehem? See Micah 5:2–5a. What people mentioned in Luke 2:8–20 are fitting candidates to receive the Good News about the Messiah?
- Luke 2:11 says that the child who is born in Bethlehem is “Christ the Lord.” We know from previous questions and lessons that the Messiah (the Christ) would be a successor to King David and would be very great. What did people commonly expect the Messiah to be like? See Luke 23:35, 39; Matthew 16:15–23; Acts 1:6. Where could they have looked for a correct understanding of what the Messiah would be like? See Isaiah 52:13–53:12.
- Isaiah 52–53 describes the Lord’s Suffering Servant in remarkable detail. Why would we talk about this passage on Christmas when it seems more appropriate for Good Friday? It helps us remember that Jesus was born to die. His death was foreseen in Scripture, as Jesus Himself teaches the disciples in Luke 24:25–27, 44–47. Isaiah 52–53 is just one instance of prophecy that the Christ would suffer, die, and rise again. As Luke says, “[Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
One of the passages we are studying in this lesson is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” In light of the things we have learned about the Messiah, what do you think is the best interpretation of the phrases “God so loved the world” and “He gave His only Son”?
- Read Luke 2:6–7. Perhaps the best word to describe the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth is humble. There is nothing impressive about the birth itself. Only a few people knew about it. The glory of it is only shown through the angels, the messengers of God. The same can be said of the Church. She is not very impressive in the eyes of the world. The glory of the Church is only seen through the message of the Gospel given through the Word. Only the eyes of faith can see her glory. Christ’s birth, life, and death reveal God’s way of working in the world. We can also see that way of working in Christ’s Bride, the Church. Read Luke 1:48, 52; 14:7–11. How important is humility for the Christian? How does that virtue work itself out in practice?
- At Christmas, we celebrate the wonderful truth that God took on human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Creator of the universe made Himself into a tiny unborn baby. Though this is a time of year when we focus on joy and peace, the harsh reality of this sinful world is that many unborn babies are not safe in their mothers’ wombs but will be murdered through abortion. As we remember our Lord’s incarnation, let us reflect on the great tragedy and injustice of abortion and seek ways to protect the little ones. The incarnation is the ultimate testament to the great value of unborn babies and little children. We also should remember that Jesus came to save sinners, including those who have had and who perform abortions. What was Jesus’ attitude toward infants? Read Luke 18:15–17. Why must we adults constantly learn to be children?
- The angel in Luke 2:11 announced that a Savior had been born. Many Jews thought that the Messiah would be a secular savior who would defeat their enemies. What kind of savior are people looking for today? What kind of Savior is Jesus? See Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:77.
- Don’t the nativity scenes make you wish you were there? Don’t the Christmas carols paint such a lovely picture of that night when Christ the Lord was born? Can you imagine how beautiful the angels’ song was? It certainly would have been a glorious experience. But we have things even better than the shepherds. How?
The text for this lesson is Luke 2:1–20.
- The Son of God became what we are—human—to make us what He is: a child of the heavenly Father. Furthermore, He revealed where He is to be found: in His Word and Sacraments.
- Law: In the beginning, God created man in His own image, and ever since, we have been trying to return the favor. But the “God” we fashion in our own minds is a caricature—a warped, deformed, blasphemous image of the reality we look for in all the wrong places.
- Gospel: In the beginning, God created man in His own image. And in the fullness of time, God assumed that image Himself. The Son of God became also a Son of Adam, Son of David, and Son of Mary. In so doing, He reimaged us re-created us to be as He is. He became what we are to make us what He is: children of the heavenly Father. And He revealed where He is to be found: swaddled in His Gospel and Sacraments.