Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
GOD FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS
December 23, 2018
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26-31, 2:22, 25-35
KEY VERSE: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. (Luke 2:30-31)
INTRODUCTION: When the Lord chose Mary, it may have seemed to those around her that she had been chosen by chance. Yet certainly every experience of her teen-age life up to this point was preparing her for this great responsibility. In ways that no one else took notice of, the Lord was leading Mary to this very moment.
Like Mary, we never know when or how the Lord is going to use us. The challenge (and the joy) comes in living our lives with the expectation of accepting whatever the Lord sends our way. Our motto ought to be, “With God all things are possible” (the motto of the U.S. State of Ohio).
I. THE GIFT OF GOD PROMISED. (Luke 1:26-31)
A. The Angel’s Announcement To The Virgin Mary. (Luke 1:26-31)
INSIGHT: Luke 1:26-31 is called by Christians “the Annunciation.” It is the announcement of the Incarnation of the Savior to the Virgin Mary.
1. The angel Gabriel speaks to the Virgin Mary. (Luke 1:26-27)
(Luke 1:26-27) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
a. Two times in verse one of this chapter, Mary is called a virgin.
What is a virgin? I ask this because many people do not seem to know. A virgin is a woman who could never have a child in a natural way because she has never had a relationship with a man that would make the birth of a child possible.
b. Christians need to talk rather plainly today.
There are people saying that the Virgin Birth is biologically impossible. When I hear someone make that statement, I always feel like calling him up and saying, “I would like to have lunch with you and tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God Almighty because you do not seem to know much about them.”
c. The Bible teaches the Virgin Birth.
The Scripture makes it very clear that Jesus Christ was virgin born. I do not object to an unbeliever saying that he does not believe in the Virgin Birth, but when he makes the statement that the Bible does not teach it, I object.
I say very plainly that one who makes this statement must be ignorant of the Scriptures. It should be remembered that Luke was a doctor and he gives the most extended account of the Virgin Birth.
2. The Virgin Mary is to bring the Savior into the world. (Luke 1:28)
(Luke 1:28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
INSIGHT: There is a tendency among Protestants to play down the role of Mary, but this verse tells us that Mary was highly favored. In the same breath, however, let me say that she was blessed among women, not above women.
Mary is not lifted above women; Mary lifted up womanhood. This is the role she played. It is so easy to say that a woman brought sin into the world, but remember, it was a woman (and not a man) who brought the Savior into the world.
B. The Angel Called Jesus The Son Of The Highest. (Luke 1:29-33)
1. Mary was afraid. (Luke 1:29)
(Luke 1:29) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Mary was troubled at the sayings of the angel. When the supernatural touches the natural, it always creates fear. Mary also “cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” Believe me when you have seen an angel, you have a right to be afraid. I think I would be afraid if I saw one.
2. Mary became joyful. (Luke 1:30-33)
(Luke 1:30-33) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
a. This is plain language.
There is no way of misinterpreting it. This passage is quite literal. Those people who deny the Virgin Birth also do not believe that the Lord is going to sit on the throne of His father David.
b. This is clearly understood.
Apparently it was understood that what Luke is writing about is literal. (1) The virgin’s womb is literal and (2) the throne of David is literal. Jesus Christ shall literally reign over the house of Jacob and of His kingdom there shall be no end. That kingdom is also a reality.
QUESTION: IS ANYTHING IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD?
· Mary’s Honest Question. (Luke 1:34)
(Luke 1:34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Mary was the first one to question the Virgin Birth! She said, “How can it be?” This is still a good question. Dr. Luke quotes the angel Gabriel and gives us the answer.
· Gabriel’s Honest Answer. (Luke 1:35)
(Luke 1:35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
1. No man had anything to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Mary is told that she is not bringing a sinner into the world; He is holy. The union of man and woman can only produce a child with a sin nature.
The Virgin Birth is the only way God could get that “holy thing” into the human family. In Psalm 51:5 David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Mary’s Son would be different. He would be VIRGIN BORN.
2. People can deny the Virgin Birth if they want to.
If you were an unbeliever, I would expect you to deny it. (If you were NOT a Christian, of course you wouldn’t believe it.) However, no one can say that the Bible does not teach the Virgin Birth, because it does! And we will have to answer to Almighty God for our answers!
3. The baby was called the Son of God.
Do you know WHY this Baby was going to be called the Son of God? The Baby was called the Son of God because HE IS THE SON OF GOD. Remember that Dr. Luke approaches his gospel from the scientific point of view. He states that he examined Jesus of Nazareth, and his findings are that Jesus is God.
INSIGHT: Dr. Luke came to the same conclusion that the Apostle John came to in his gospel, but his procedure and technique were different. Dr. Luke has used plain, simple language to present his findings so we can understand Luke’s message.
II. THE GIFT OF GOD PRESENTED. (Luke 2:22, 25-29)
A. Mary Took The Baby Jesus To The Temple. (Luke 2:22)
(Luke 2:22) And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Jesus was brought to the temple when He was eight days old to be circumcised according to Mosaic Law: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).
B. A Man Named Simeon Began Praising The Baby Jesus. (Luke 2:25-29)
(Luke 2:25-29) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Simeon’s statement is a remarkable statement coming from a man who was limited in his outlook upon life -- that is, he was limited to a particular area geographically. Yet he saw the One who was to be the Savior of the world.
This is to me one of the amazing things about the Word of God, especially the New Testament. Although given to a certain people, it is positively directed to the world.
No other religion pointed that way. (You will notice that the religions of the world are generally localized for a peculiar people, generally a race or nation.) But Christianity has been from the outset for all people everywhere.
III. THE GIFT OF GOD PRAISED. (Luke 2:30-35)
INSIGHT: In Luke 2:29-32 we find Simeon’s response to seeing Jesus. This is the fifth and last of the “Christmas songs” in Luke. (Elizabeth, Luke 1:42-45; Mary, Luke 1:46-56; Zacharias, Luke 1:67-79; the angels, Luke 2:13-14). It is first of all a worship hymn as he blesses God for keeping His promise and sending the Messiah. He joyfully praises God that he has been privileged to see the Lord’s Christ.
But his song is also a salvation hymn: “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation” (Luke 2:30). Now he is ready to die! The word depart in the Greek has several meanings, and each of them tells us something about the death of a Christian. It means to release a prisoner, to untie a ship and set sail, to take down a tent (see 2 Cor. 5:1-8), and to unyoke a beast of burden (see Matt. 11:28-30). God’s people are not afraid of death because it only frees us from the burdens of this life and leads into the blessings of the next life.
Simeon’s song is a missionary hymn, which is something unusual for a devout Jew standing in the temple. He sees this great salvation going out to the Gentiles! Jesus has restored the glory to Israel and brought the light to the Gentiles so that all people can be saved (see Luke 2:10). Remember that the compassion of Christ for the whole world is one of Luke’s major themes.
A. Notice that Luke calls them “Joseph and his mother,” NOT Jesus’ father and mother. (Luke 2:30-33)
(Luke 2:30-33) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Mary was the mother of the Christ child, but God (the Holy Spirit) planted the seed. Joseph was Mary’s faithful husband, but he was not the father of Jesus. Joseph served as Jesus’ earthly father during this time.
B. Mary paid a tremendous price to bring the Savior into the world. (Luke 2:34)
(Luke 2:34) And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.
The image of the sword (Luke 2:35) was for Mary alone, and it spoke of the suffering and sorrow she would bear as the mother of the Messiah. (This suggests that Joseph was dead when Jesus began His ministry thirty years later, or Joseph would have been included.) Mary’s suffering was due to a human relationship. (1) She was His human mother. (2) She had brought Him into the world and raised Him. (3) He was her son.
C. Mary paid an awful price to stand beneath the cross of the Lord Jesus and watch Him die. (Luke 2:35)
(Luke 2:35) (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
The Greek word means a large sword such as Goliath used (1 Sam. 17:51), and the verb means “constantly keep on piercing.” During our Lord’s life and ministry, Mary did experience more and more sorrow until one day she stood by His cross and saw Him suffer and die (John 19:25-27). However, without minimizing her devotion, Mary’s personal pain must not in any way be made a part of Christ’s redemptive work. Only He could die for the sins of the world (1 Tim. 2:5-6).
You see, when our Lord looked down from the cross and said, “…Woman, behold thy son!” (John 19:26), a human relationship was there that no one else had. She was suffering as His mother. And at that time the prophecy of Simeon was fulfilled -- the sword pierced through HER soul also (See Luke 2:35).
INSIGHT: How much did Mary and Joseph understand of God’s great plan for this miracle Child? We don’t know, but we do know that Mary stored up all these things and pondered them (Luke 2:19, 51). The word means “to put things together”; Mary sought for some pattern that would help her understand God’s will. There were times when Mary misunderstood Him (Mark 3:31-35), and this would add to her suffering. The last time you find Mary named in Scripture, she is in the Upper Room, praying with the other believers (Acts 1:14).
· The Christmas story, recorded in Matthew and Luke, has become so familiar that I wonder if we grasp the reality of what actually happened:
An angel told a young virgin that she would conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38).
The angel then told her fiancé to marry her and name the baby Jesus, “for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Shepherds saw angels in the sky and were told of a Savior’s birth in Bethlehem (Luke 2:11).
Wise men traveled hundreds of miles to worship the One who, they said, “has been born King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). AMAZING!
· Equally astonishing is that Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men did exactly as they had been told.
(1) Mary yielded herself to God; (2) Joseph took her home as his wife; (3) the shepherds went to Bethlehem to find the baby in a manger; (4) and the wise men followed the star.
With no idea of the outcome, they all took the next step by faith in the Lord. AMAZING!
· How is it with us this Christmas? Will we trust God and follow His leading even when we face uncertainty and overwhelming circumstances?
When you and I obey the Lord, the outcome is truly AMAZING!
To follow the leading of God,
To step out in faith and obey,
Is always the path we should take
Whenever we can’t see the way. — Sper
– Adapted from David C. McCasland, Our Daily Bread, December 25, 2010.
CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our Christmas Bible study today?
· Christians serve an amazing God, but just knowing that fact does not mean that we understand how to go about serving Him.
· Christian believers are just ordinary people (like Mary) who are trying to be the servants that the Lord wants them to be.
· When we open our hearts to the Lord and humbly ask Him for assistance and guidance, then He can (and will) lead us to the right answer.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
E-Mail: Ronald Purkey