Sunday, November 24, 2013

On 12-1-13, Luke 1:26-40 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as The Angel foretells Jesus’ Birth

The Angel foretells Jesus’ Birth
Luke 1:26-40
International Sunday School Lesson
December 1, 2013

Jed Greenough

Did you invite someone to Sunday school this week?  I hope that you did or that there is still time.  This week as we shift to the season of Christmas I think what a great time for someone as we see the announcement to Mary that she will be with child.  This is a great time for that person new to your class or to the Good News to begin anew as well.
You see, I think that for many this idea of a virgin birth is a stumbling block.  What could you do with this lesson as a teacher or as an active participant to help them see that it is all just a part of God’s plan and why it had to be this way and how for Him it is just like anything else He does?  Like we breathe, God creates.
Remember a few weeks back when we studied that scripture, where in a dream Jacob saw angels ascending and descending a staircase to heaven?  In my commentary I mentioned how I feel based on that and some of the things we see experienced in the Bible that the angels are a very busy bunch.
In your lesson maybe you could help a new person by showing them some of these instances.  I think I’d use the book of Daniel to show how active Gabriel was and don’t forget in this same book Michael’s activities.
Gabriel, of course we see then again, in today’s scripture.  As it begins it mentions the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.  This Gabriel is a busy guy and I think that is a good place to talk about with your new person as you show how the scripture earlier in the chapter has Gabriel telling Zechariah that Elizabeth his wife would have a child and how he would prepare the way for the Lord.
Zechariah sings about this later in this same chapter and you can of course tie that in with the prophecy concerning him in …whew!  There’s too much and not enough time in this one lesson to share all you know!  But the excitement to do so is palpable isn’t it?  If it isn’t, well, you better find a replacement.
Here in this very lesson the young Mary stands in the presence of an angel.  I know there are times according to Hebrews 13:2 that we can be in their midst and not know it but there are other times when people just know and it is evidently awesome.  Zechariah and Daniel were terrified in this same Gabriel’s presence (Luke 1:12 and Daniel 8:17).
Quite the girl isn’t she?  Two men reduced to quivering and she is more concerned with what he has to tell her and what he said as we know is more than just significant.  Here we see the reverse of the famous old saying “From your lips to God’s ears.”  Here is, From God’s lips to your ears or as close as we can get as Gabriel was told this and he stands in God’s presence (Luke 1:19).
Mary certainly shows God knows who to pick and when to pick them as she clearly shows in the rest of the chapter that she understands exactly what the angel has told her, accepts the honor, and takes no glory in it for herself but glorifies God.
That is probably a pretty good spot to wrap it up for the new person as they have spent their life thinking mostly about themselves.  They need to see it isn’t about them and hopefully you will be able to plant enough in them to draw them back next week!
For Discussion:
1.      Read Isaiah 7
2.      Read Micah 5
3.      Matthew 1:18-23
4.      Discuss this fact that Mary understood what and who she would be carrying.
5.      I wouldn’t make it a part of my lesson but be prepared to discuss the genealogy of Mary.  As you know, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary’s relation would have to be Levite.
6.      Discuss why Jesus must be conceived in this manner.

Upcoming Lessons

12-1-13     The Angel Foretells Jesus’ Birth Luke 1:26-40
12-8-13     Mary Sings Her Praise or Mary’s Song of Praise Luke 1:46-56
12-15-13    Zacharias Prophesies About His Son, John Luke 1:57, 58, 67-79
12-22-13    Jesus is Born Luke 2:1-17
12-29-13    Jesus is Presented in the Temple Luke 2:21, 22, 25-38 or 2:25-38

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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