December 23, 2018 – Luke 1 – 2
Lesson Date: December 23, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: Luke 1:12-17, 26-33, 39-43, 67-77; 2:1-11, 25-33, 36-38, 41-49
AIM: To lead students to discover eight facts that prove Jesus’ identity, and to take a specific action in response to those facts.
Before class: Write the following heading on the marker board or chalkboard: “Jesus’ Pieces of Identification.” Number from 1 through 8 down the left side of the board.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the following questions:
“When you went to cast your vote at your polling place on Election Day or at the Board of Elections for early voting, how many pieces of identification do you need to produce?” (one).
“What identification was required?” (your driver’s license).
“If you were sixteen years old and trying to get your first driver’s license, what identification would you need?” (your birth certificate and Social Security card).
“What are some other times and situations when you must show identification?” (when writing a check, when applying for a job, when submitting to a criminal background check).
“How many different pieces of identification do you possess?” (driver’s license, birth certificate, Social Security card, passport, ID card or badge for your work).
Tell the students this morning we will depart from our study of the Gospel of John to focus on the Christmas story. Say: “Today’s lesson contains the description of Jesus’ birth, which we commonly read at Christmas. But this scripture passage also contains eight pieces of identification that prove Jesus to be the Messiah – the Son of God.”
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Review and Note to Teachers.
- Ask the class what last week’s lesson was about (comfort in troubling times).
- Ask if any volunteers would recite last week’s memory verse (John 14:15).
- NOTE: You may work through all of the following scripture passages together as a class, or you could assign certain portions to volunteer individuals or pairs. If you do that, use the Sunday School Member Quarterly. Assign the individuals or pairs specific headings, and ask them to be prepared to read the verses and tell the class the answers to the questions under that heading.
- Identification Number 1.
- Introduce Zacharias: He was a priest, married to a woman named Elisabeth. They were both righteous and obedient toward God. They were old and had no children.
- One day as Zacharias was serving in the Temple in Jerusalem (locate on the map), an angel appeared to him.
- Read Luke 1:12-17.
- Ask the class to name the things the angel said to Zacharias.
- The first piece of Jesus’ identification is contained in verses 16-17: The angel told Zacharias that John would be the forerunner of the Messiah. Write this on the board.
- Zacharias was made unable to speak as a sign to confirm what the angel had said. He asked for a sign (verse 18) and the angel gave him a sign of dumbness (verse 20).
- Identification Number 2.
- Zacharias’ wife Elisabeth conceived a child. In the sixth month of her pregnancy the angel Gabriel appeared to her cousin Mary.
- Read Luke 1:26-33.
- Ask students to tell what the angel said. The second piece of Jesus’ identification is contained here: Gabriel announced Jesus’ birth and identity to Mary. Write this on the board.
- Identification Number 3.
- Gabriel told Mary about Elisabeth’s pregnancy, so Mary went to visit her cousin.
- Read Luke 1:39-43 for the third piece of Jesus’ identification: Elisabeth called Mary’s baby “my Lord.” Write this on the board.
- Elisabeth’s baby was born and named John, just as Gabriel instructed (Luke 1:13).
- Identification Number 4.
- Zacharias was given the ability to speak again, after which he prophesied (preached).
- Read Luke 1:67-77 for the fourth piece of Jesus’ identification: Zacharias said Mary’s baby was the Messiah and John would prepare the way for Him. Write this on the board.
- Identification Number 5.
- As we all know, Mary and her husband Joseph went from Nazareth (locate on the map) to Bethlehem (locate on the map) to be taxed. This was because Caesar was taxing the entire Roman world.
- Read Luke 2:1-11 for the fifth piece of Jesus’ identification: The angel told the shepherds that Jesus was the Savior, Christ the Lord. Write this on the board.
- Identification Number 6.
- Jewish Law required new parents to dedicate their first-born child to the Lord. Mary and Joseph did this at the Temple in Jerusalem (locate on the map).
- While they were at the Temple, a man named Simeon came up to them. God had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, the “consolation of Israel.” The Holy Spirit revealed Jesus’ identity to Simeon.
- Read Luke 2:25-33 for the sixth piece of Jesus’ identification: Simeon announced that Jesus is the Savior. Write this on the board.
- Identification Number 7.
- Anna was an 84-year old widow who was also a prophetess. God showed her who baby Jesus was.
- Read Luke 2:36-38 for the seventh piece of Jesus’ identification: Anna confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Redeemer. Write this on the board.
- Identification Number 8.
- Joseph and Mary went annually to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.
- When Jesus was twelve, they inadvertently left Him behind in Jerusalem as they were returning home. After a long search, they found Him in the Temple.
- Read Luke 2:41-49 for the eighth piece of Jesus’ identification: Jesus said that God was His Father. Write this on the board.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Say: “In today’s lesson we have found eight scriptural confirmations of the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God who came to pay the penalty for our sin and provide salvation. After examining these eight pieces of identification we must accept one of three options about who Jesus is. He is either:
- A liar,
- A lunatic, or
- He is actually the Lord
Say: “If we don’t believe He is Lord, then we must believe that He was either insane or a great deceiver. This morning we have found eight pieces of identification that prove Jesus is in fact, God in flesh and the only Savior or Redeemer ever provided for mankind.”
Based on these facts, urge the students to take one of the following specific actions:
- If they are already saved they should commit themselves to telling someone else about Jesus.
- If they have never accepted Jesus they should do so today.
Encourage any who have never been saved to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ as you lead a prayer of commitment. Encourage those who already know Jesus to commit to tell someone else about Him.
CONCLUSION: Tell the students if any of them have prayed to receive Jesus this morning they should plan to come forward during the hymn of response at the end of the service and make that public. If any have committed themselves to telling someone else about Jesus, they should make definite plans to go to that person this week.
Tell the students next Sunday we return to our study of the Gospel of John. Ask everyone to memorize John 14:26. Ask them to read John 15:1-17 this week and plan to come to Sunday School next Sunday morning.
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