Lesson for April 4th, 2015
The Coming of Jesus
Luke, a Gentile writer, introduces us to the births of Jesus and John the Baptist. He includes historical references in his gospel to emphasize the genuine story of Christ.
Paper, pencils, Bibles
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Have you ever received an email with a story that sounded questionable? What did you do to confirm whether or not it was true? How do you determine whether something is a hoax or urban legend?
- In your opinion, what is the most convincing evidence that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and truly came to our world?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Draw a picture of a pyramid made up of 10 blocks. In the top block, write “Jesus is Real.” Now fill in the other blocks with evidences to support this statement. Glean ideas from others in your group.
- Thought Questions
As we begin our study of the gospel of Luke, read Luke 1:1-4 and answer this question: “What evidence does Luke give us to substantiate the truth of his narrative about Jesus?”
- Others have also written about Jesus (v. 1).
- Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled regarding Christ (v. 1).
- There were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life and works (v. 2).
- Luke wrote “an orderly account” to an actual person named Theophilus (v. 3).
- Luke suggests that reading this account about Jesus will be convincing proof in and of itself (v. 4).
Take a moment to read the story of John the Baptist’s birth in Luke 1:5-22. How were John’s and Jesus’ births and future workings the same? How were they different?
- Both births came about by a miracle.
- Both had a God-ordained calling that created division.
- John’s work prepared the way for Christ. He was a forerunner who faded from focus after Jesus’ ministry was announced.
- Both mothers were initially afraid of an angel’s visit, and both fathers struggled to comprehend the pregnancies.
- Both babies grew up and became strong in the Spirit of God (Luke 1:80; 2:40).
Now read in Luke 1:26-38 about when the story of Christ’s birth was announced to Mary. What is the most astonishing aspect of this story?
- That the same angel, Gabriel, who came to Zacharias, also came to Mary. This same angel spoke to Daniel (8:16) 500 years earlier.
- God chose a poor, unmarried woman (probably an older teen) to carry the Son of God in her womb.
- Jesus’ miraculous conception in Mary’s womb is beyond our understanding.
- Gabriel told Mary about Elizabeth’s miraculous conception and said, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
- Mary’s concluding words were, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”
Other indicators throughout Luke’s gospel give validity to the historical truth of Christ’s existence. Look up and read these interesting references:
- Luke 2:1, 2 speaks about a specific decree. What was it?
- Who was the king at the time of John’s birth? (Luke 1:5)
- In Luke 3:1, 2, how many different historical references are given when John began preaching?
- What historical information can we glean from Luke 3:18, 19?
- Read about the jurisdictions of two contemporary rulers in Palestine and Galilee (Luke 23:1, 12).
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: One day your neighbor says to you, “I really find it hard to believe in Jesus’ miraculous birth. It seems a little far-fetched. How can you really know if something like that happened?” How would you respond? Share your answer with the group.
- Option 2: What evidences can you give that could help convince someone that Jesus is real? Using the T-R-U-E acronym, come up with four proofs that would persuade a skeptic to believe.
- Option 3: Write a short poem titled “The Miracle Birth,” which captures Jesus’ conception and birth on earth. Highlight the idea that it is by faith that we each experience a new birth in Christ.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Think for a moment about how real Jesus is in your daily experience. Do you find yourself pausing throughout your day to consider that Christ is alive and lives to bless you?
- In groups of two or three, pray and ask Jesus to make Himself known to you in a deep and genuine way this coming week.