JOURNEYS WITH MARY

4 COMPLETE LESSONS

 

JOURNEY OF FAITH

Luke 1:26-56

JOURNEYS WITH MARY - Lesson #1 of 4

A COMPLETE LESSON

 

·       What is the most significant journey or trip you have ever made, and why was it significant?

·       Why do journeys need not be long in order to be significant?

·       The most significant step of faith you ever took was to trust Jesus as your Savior.  Name another step of faith that God has led you to take.

·       How is doing something by faith a “journey”?

 

As we approach the Christmas holiday we want to examine the four journeys that Mary made found in Luke 1-2.  They are:

1.     The Journey of Faith – Luke 1:26-56

2.     The Journey of Fruition – Luke 2:1-20

3.     The Journey of Fulfillment – Luke 2:21-39

4.     The Journey towards the Future – Luke 2:40-52

 

The first journey that Mary made was from Nazareth to “the hill country”.  For her it was a journey of faith, accepting what she had been told by the Angel Gabriel as true.  So often our journeys in this life are journeys of faith. We must take God at His word, and move forward believing that what He has said is true.

MARY’S CONVERSATION – Vss. 26-37

·       Vs. 26 - Nazareth was not the “garden spot” of Israel.  In fact, it is not even mentioned in the Old Testament.  It was a mixed city, of Jews, Gentiles, and soldiers.  The city did not have a good reputation.

·       Vs. 27 – How do you think Mary was like thousands of other poor teenage girls that lived in Israel at the time?

·       Vs. 28 – Why do you think Gabriel greeted Mary the way he did? 

·       Notice that Mary was blessed “among” women, not “above” women.  How do some people wrongly view Mary?  How should we rightly view Mary?

·       Vs. 29 – What troubled Mary?

·       Vs. 30 – Mary wasn’t to fear, but to be assured that she had found favor with God. How have we Christians found favor with God?  Why is faith necessary to enjoy that favor?

·       Vss. 31-32 – How was Jesus great?  Notice His deity.  When does He get the throne?

·       Vs. 34 – Do you think Mary’s question was a question of doubt or simply trying to understand?  Why?

·       Vss. 35-37 – How was Mary’s pregnancy different from Elizabeth’s pregnancy?  How were they similar?  What was the Angel’s point in mentioning Elizabeth?

·       Vs. 37 – What impossible things have you seen God do?

·       What is the basis for believing that God will do the impossible in our lives?

MARY’S CONFIDENCE – Vss. 38-40

·       Vs. 38 – What was the biggest problem Mary would have had with this pregnancy?

·       Besides Mary’s faith in verse 38 we see her submission. Why do submission and faith go together?

·       Can and should Mary’s faith be duplicated?

·       Vss. 39-40 – How was the journey Mary took an indication of her faith?

·       How will our actions sometimes be an indication of our faith?

MARY’S CONFIRMATION - Vss. 41-45

·       Vss. 39-41 – Mary was to receive confirmation of her faith through the inspired words of Elizabeth. Elizabeth would have known only a little of what was going on. It was the control of the Holy Spirit that allowed her to say what she said.

·       Vss. 42-43 – If you were Mary, how would you have reacted to Elizabeth’s statements?  How do we tell that these statements were prodded by God?

·       Verses 41 and 44 are fulfillments of the promise given in verse 15.

·       Vs. 45 - Why do you think God gave this confirmation to Mary?

·       What are some ways in which God confirms our faith?

 

4. MARY’S CONCERT – Vss. 46-56

·       Vs. 46 – What specific reasons did Mary have for magnifying the Lord?  What reasons do we have?

·       Vs. 47 – This verse tells us that Mary was not sinless, as some think.  Why is it important to rejoice in the God of salvation rather than in salvation itself?

·       Vs. 48 - We know why generations have called Mary “blessed”.  In what ways is a believer “blessed”?

·       Vs. 49 – Notice that we praise God for the same two reasons that are mentioned here.

·       Vs. 50 – Who are those who fear him from generation to generation?

·       The statements made in verses 51 through 55 were certainly true in the past.  However, they are probably prophecies stated in the past tense. They are as good as done.

·       How have each of the prophecies in these verses been fulfilled or how will they be fulfilled by Jesus?

·       What lessons about faith have you learned from Mary?

 

 

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JOURNEY OF FRUITION

Luke 2:1-20

JOURNEYS WITH MARY - Lesson #2 of 4

A COMPLETE LESSON

 

·       What are you looking forward to come to pass?

·       Why is it difficult to wait for God to work?

·       How is waiting on God like waiting for a baby to be born?

·       Can you think of examples in the Scriptures of God doing what He had promised?

 

We continue our “Journeys with Mary” in Luke 1-2.  Last time we saw Mary’s “Journey of Faith” to see Elizabeth after the angel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth. This week we see God doing as He promised after a “Journey of Fruition”.

THE REASONS FOR TRAVEL - Vss. 1-5,  Micah 5:2

·       Micah 5:2 - But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

·       Micah tells us that Bethlehem was small and insignificant.

·       How should the smallness of Bethlehem encourage us when we feel small and insignificant?

·       What does Micah teach us about Jesus?  How should these insights influence our daily walk?

·       Vs. 1 - Caesar Augustus (Octavian) was the nephew of Julius Caesar, and even worshipped as a god.  Under him, Rome’s strength was established and there was a long peace in which much building was done.

·       It is ironic that one who allowed himself worship, was in reality a pawn in the hands of God.  How is that evident, comparing Luke 2:1-2 with Micah 5:2? 

·       Vss. 3-5 – Through no planning of his own, Joseph helps to fulfill prophecy.  What should we realize when circumstances force us into unexpected situations?  Romans 8:28

·       When the 80 mile journey began, Mary was very pregnant.  We do not know if she rode on a donkey or walked.  Either way of travel would have been grueling.

·       Humanly speaking, what would Mary’s concerns have been?

·       Humanly speaking, what would Joseph’s concerns have been?

·       What were Mary and Joseph’s comforts on this journey?

THE REALITY OF CHRIST’S BIRTH – Vss. 6-7

·       Notice that this baby was right on time, because He was born on God’s timetable.  How should we strive to be on God’s timetable?

·       Inns in those days were very crude. Not even a simple room in an inn was available, so Jesus was born where they kept the animals.  Sanitary conditions were bad.

·       The birth of Jesus was difficult for Mary and for Joseph. In spite of the pain, the cold, and the unsanitary conditions, this birth was an astounding moment in history.  Why?

·       How could the birth of Jesus be actually shocking for the angels to behold?

·       Warren Wiersbe pointed out that Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and that it was fitting that the “Bread of Life” was born there.

THE REPORT OF ANGELS - Vss. 8-14

·       Vs. 8 – Shepherds of that day were social outcasts, and considered to be dishonest.  Being a shepherd was a humble job.

·       Why do you think that God chose to report the Good News of Jesus’ birth to shepherds?

·       Vs. 9 – What were some of the thoughts that probably ran through the shepherd’s minds when the angel appeared?

·       Vs. 10 – In what ways have you seen God turn fear into joy? 

·       Why is it comforting that the birth of Jesus is for all people?

·       Vs. 11 – The most important word in this verse is “savior”.  Why was the birth of a savior such good news?

·       Two other words are used to describe Jesus, “Christ” and “Lord”.  How should these words impact your life?

·       Vs. 12 – I guarantee that there wasn’t another baby in any manger in Bethlehem wrapped in swaddling clothes (pieces of cloth) that evening. The shepherds would not be able to miss Him!

·       Vs. 13 – A multitude was a number too large to even begin to count.  Why do you think God sent such a large “choir”?

·       Vs. 14 – Why was God to be glorified?

·       How was the birth of Jesus an expression of “peace and good will toward men”?

THE REPORT OF SHEPHERDS – Vss. 15-18

·       Vs. 15 – Why should the shepherds be commended?

·       Vs. 16 – Do you think the shepherds reported what they saw to Mary and Joseph?  Why?

 

·       Vs. 17 – What motivated the shepherds to witness? Why was it not hard for them to witness?

·       What should motivate us to witness?

·       Vs. 18 – Why did the shepherds’ report get the response that it did?

·       How might our witness for Christ cause others to marvel or wonder?

THE REFLECTIONS OF MARY – Vs. 19

·       How was Mary’s heart a treasure chest?

·       Why should we treasure and reflect on the things that God has done for us?

·       How will God’s Word help in this process?

THE REJOICING OF BELIEVERS – Vs. 20

·       What specific things that the shepherds had heard and seen caused them to glorify and praise God?

·       What specific things that you have heard and seen lately cause you to glorify and praise God.

·       What does this verse tell you about God’s Word?

 

 

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JOURNEY OF FULFILLMENT

Luke 2:21-39

JOURNEYS WITH MARY - Lesson #3 of 4 (Lesson #4 is below.)

A COMPLETE LESSON

 

·       What have you done for someone else that has made them feel “fulfilled”?

·       What has someone done for you that has made you feel “fulfilled”?

·       What have you done that has made you feel “fulfilled”?

·       What has God done that has made you feel “fulfilled”?

 

We continue our “Journeys with Mary” in Luke 1-2.  We have already seen Mary’s “Journey of Faith” to see Elizabeth after the angel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth. We have also seen God doing as He promised after a “Journey of Fruition”.  There were those waiting in Israel for the arrival the Messiah.  For those who waited, this trip to the temple in Jerusalem was a “Journey of Fulfillment” as they viewed the promised Savior.

THEY HAD THE RIGHT PRIORITIES – Vss. 21-24

·       How do the priorities of Christians tend to be “messed up” or “out of whack”?

·       Why is it so easy for us to get our priorities as Christians out of order?

·       According to these verses, what do you think were the most important priorities to Mary and Joseph?

·       Vs. 21 – In accordance with Old Testament Law Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day. Leviticus 12:3 - And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

·       Mary and Joseph named the baby “Jesus” as they had both been instructed. Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31

·       Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua”, which means “Jehovah is salvation”. Why is this name so fitting?

·       Vs. 22-23 – There was a period of time when a woman who had a child was not allowed to enter the temple because she was ceremonially impure. Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to offer a prescribed sacrifice in Mary’s behalf and also to present Jesus to the Lord.

·       The first born child was considered the Lord’s.     Exodus 13:1-2 - And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, [2] Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.  

·       The first born child was to be presented to the Lord and redeemed.  Numbers 18:15-16 - Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the Lord, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. [16] And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels…

·       In what ways should we present all our children to the Lord?

·       Vs. 24 - The sacrifice that was made for Mary was the sacrifice that the poor were to make. Leviticus 12:1-8

THEY MET THE RIGHT PEOPLE – Vss. 25-27,      37-38

·       How have you seen God guide you to the right person at the right time?

·       There were at least two people that needed to see the literal fulfillment of God’s promise of Messiah. God guided them to the infant Jesus, and the infant Jesus to them.

·       Vs. 25 – Simeon had some terrific character traits. First of all, he was just or righteous in his dealings with others.  Why is it a joy to deal with righteous people?

·       Simeon was also devout, or devoted to God.  How can we tell when someone is truly devoted to God?

·       Simeon was waiting for the consolation or comfort of Israel through the coming Messiah.  We are to still be waiting for the (second) coming of the Messiah.  Titus 2:11-13

·       Simeon was also filled, or controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is neat to think that God wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18

·       Vs. 26 – I think that it is likely that Simeon was an old man, but he wouldn’t necessarily have to have been.  The important promise was that he would see the Messiah before he died.

·       Vs. 27 – God brought Simeon and Anna to the right place at the right time.  As we walk with Him, he will do the same for us.  Ephesians 5:15-18

·       Vss. 36-38 – Anna was an old and Godly woman.  What does she teach us about priorities?

THEY HEARD THE RIGHT PRONOUNCEMENTS  Vss. 28-36, 38

·       Vss. 28-30 – After seeing Jesus, what were Simeon’s first reactions? What do we learn from Simeon’s response to Christ?

·       What do verses 30-32 teach us about the Lord Jesus Christ?

·       Joseph and Mary already knew who Jesus was.  Why did Simeon’s statements about Him surprise them so in verse 33?

·       Vs. 34 – How do people fall before they rise when they trust Christ?

·       Who were some of the people who spoke against Jesus?

·       According to verse 35, speaking against Jesus revealed a wicked heart.

·       How and when did a sword pierce through Mary’s soul?

·       What lesson does Anna teach us in verse 38?

 

 

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JOURNEY TO THE FUTURE

Luke 2:40-52

JOURNEYS WITH MARY - Lesson #4 0f 4

A COMPLETE LESSON

 

·       What are some of the significant stages that children pass through as they grow up?

·       In what ways can children surprise us as they grow up?

·       How do different events in a child’s life point to the future?

·       How do different character traits in a child’s life point to the future?

·       What do you think Jesus was like as a child?

 

We are concluding our “Journeys with Mary” in Luke 1-2.  We have already seen Mary’s “Journey of Faith” to see Elizabeth after the angel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth. We have also seen God doing as He promised after a “Journey of Fruition” to Bethlehem where Jesus was born.  Last time we saw a “Journey of Fulfillment”.  God fulfilled his promise to Simeon that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Jerusalem temple.  The final journey took place twelve years later as Mary took a “Journey to the Future” as she sees Jesus showing signs of growing up in a trip to Jerusalem.

HE DEVELOPED INTO A MAN – Vss. 40-42

·       We know very little of Jesus’ childhood.

·       Vs. 40 tells us about His development. He grew up just the way you would expect the Son of God to grow up.

·       Three qualities mentioned here will be repeated in verse 52. We can say that Jesus’ childhood appears to be what we expect from any child. The only difference is, Jesus grew up better than any other child!  How do you think it was obvious that the grace of God was on Jesus?

·       Vs. 41 – At this point in Israel’s history, every Jewish male was required to go to Jerusalem for a feast at least once a year.  It was apparently optional for the wife.  What does this verse tell you about Mary?

·       Vs. 42 – At age twelve, Jesus was probably just a year away from becoming a full member of the synagogue.  It was recommended that fathers bring their sons along to Jerusalem when they were a year or two away from religious manhood.

·       What can Christian men and women do with their children that would follow Joseph and Mary’s good examples?

HE DESIRED THE THINGS OF GOD – Vss. 43-47

·       Vs. 43 – How do you think it happened that Joseph and Mary were able to leave Jesus behind in Jerusalem and not realize it? Remember they would have been traveling in a caravan.

·       What gave Jesus the right to tarry in the Temple, ignore at least an assumed command of Mom and Dad, and not be guilty of sin?

2 Corinthians 5:21 - For he hath made him to be sin for  us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

·       Vss. 44-45 – What do you think was going through the minds of Joseph and Mary when Jesus could not be found?

·       Vss. 46-47 – Evidently they took a day’s travel away from Jerusalem and a day’s travel back.  They found Jesus in the temple on the third day.

·       Probably some of the great teachers of the law for that day were gathered on one of the temple’s porches.  The method of learning in those days was for learners to ask and answer questions.

·       Jesus was not teaching.  He would not do that publicly until he was 30.  His answers and his questions amazed those that heard Him.  What purpose, other than Jesus’ own personal spiritual development, would this session with the doctors of the law accomplish?

HE DEDICATED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER’S BUSINESS – Vss. 48-50

·       Vs. 48 – How do you sympathize with Mary?  What challenges would have been associated with being the mother of the Son of God?

·       Vs. 49 - Once Joseph and Mary returned to Jerusalem, how long should it have taken them to find Jesus and why?

·       It is obvious that Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God, and that He had an intimate relationship with His Father.

·       As Christians, we are the children of God.

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

Romans 8:16 - The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

 

1 John 3:1-3 - Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. [2] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. [3] And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

·       How should we as the children of God have an intimate relationship with the Father?

·       How do we develop such a relationship?

HE DEFERRED TO AUTHORITY – Vs 51

·       How have you seen people justify a lack of submission to the authority God has set up in their lives?

·       How could Jesus have justified not being in subjection to His parents?

·       What does Jesus’ submission teach us?

Ephesians 5:21 - Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

HE DEEPENED IN MATURITY – Vs 52

1.     HE GREW INTELLECTUALLY – WISDOM

2.     HE GREW PHYSICALLY – STATURE

3.     HE GREW SPIRITUALLY – FAVOR WITH GOD

4.     HE GREW SOCIALLY – FAVOR WITH MAN

 

·       Why is growth in each of these areas important?

·       How can we help our children and grandchildren grow in each of these areas?

·       With the exception of growing physically, why should you and I continue to grow in each of these areas?

1 John 2:6 - He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.