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Luke 2:1-20

Talks for Growing Christians

The Birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior

Luke 2:1-20

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. World rulers are mere instruments in the hand of God.
  2. Country shepherds are not insignificant to the heart of God.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s learn the lesson of the swaddling clothes.
  2. Don’t limit God by your expectations.

Questions

  1. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is built over the supposed spot in the cave where the Lord was born and laid in a manger. Is this tradition accurate?
  2. For what political reason did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
  3. For what spiritual reason did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
  4. What was the common opinion about shepherds during this time?
  5. Review the meaning of the three titles of the Lord in the angel’s announcement (verse 11).

Answers

  1. We can’t know for sure. We do know that there are a number of caves in that area, and these caves were used as stables for animals in ancient days.
  2. Under Caesar Augustus’ imperial rule it was decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire for military and taxation purposes. Jews were exempt from military service, but not from taxes. The Roman regulations required all residents to register in the hometown of their forefathers. Because Joseph and Mary were of the house of David, they had to go to Bethlehem, the city of David.
  3. Because the prophecy of Micah 5:2 said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
  4. In that day, shepherds were common, ordinary, simple folk that many other people despised because they were often religiously unclean. But God did not choose the Pharisees or Sadducees or political rulers to be the first to hear about the Messiah’s birth. He chose the shepherds!
  5. Savior – He is the only Savior for sin Christ – He is the Anointed One, the Messiah Lord – He is God

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss Proverbs 21:1. World rulers are mere instruments in the hand of God. This was true of Caesar Augustus at the birth of Christ, and it is true today.
  2. No one in Israel expected the Messiah to come in the way He did. Review how they expected Him to come. When the angels announced the birth to the shepherds; they did not limit God by their expectations. What about you? Do you limit God by the way you expect your prayers to be answered? Or the way you expect God to work out His plan in your life? Don’t limit God by your expectations.

Challenge

  1. The shepherds would recognize the Baby because He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, not because He had a glowing halo! As Christians our bodies do not radiate a glow, but we have the light and life of Christ within us. Read 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Key Verses

  • “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 “
  • For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

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