Star over Bethlehem
We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 17th) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.
In the grand story of Jesus’ arrival on earth, it can be a bit strange to modern day readers that 3 out of the 4 gospels of the Bible take time to give at least a part of Jesus’ lineage in their writings. Family legacy and heritage is simply not as important in 21st century American culture as it was to the Israelites during the time of Jesus.
However, this does not negate the fact that where and who we come from has a large impact on how we view people. If you were to learn that your spouse descended from a former US President, or has some connection to a royal European family, you might not see it as a declaration of their character, but you certainly could start to view their family in a different light.
The ancestry of Jesus is where we enter the story of the birth of Christ in this week’s topic.
- Why is authenticity so important to us?
- If authenticity is so important to us, why is it that we tend to doubt when something is presented to us as genuine, even if we might not have a reason?
- Why do you think the gospel writers found it important to inform their audience of the ancestry of Jesus?
- What is a name that stands out to you in the genealogy? Why?
After Matthew’s recounting of Jesus’ lineage, he takes to time to talk about Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother. Once more, we see that it is important to the gospel-writer and his audience to know about the people from whom Jesus came.
- Special attention is given to Jesus’ “step-father,” Joseph, pointing out his reaction to being told his soon-to-be-wife is pregnant with the savior of mankind. Why do you think this is?
- Joseph had a tough decision to make. He was caught between being faithful to what God had said, and dealing with being socially ostracized for marrying a woman who was already pregnant. What do you think was going through his mind at the time?
- Talk about someone from your “spiritual lineage,” that is, someone who has influenced you in becoming a Christian. Is it important to recognize the people who’ve had this role in your life?
- Have you ever had to make a decision that you know was correct, but led to ridicule or humiliation, like Joseph? What makes it easier to get through that situation?
Pray for the people in your spiritual lineage, thanking God that He placed them in your life. Also pray for your future opportunities to influence others for the gospel.