Full of Surprises
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Luke 1:26–1:34, Luke 1:36–1:38, Matthew 1:18–1:19, Matthew 1:20–1:21, Matthew 1:22–1:25
Full of Surprises
Week two in a series about the hope of Christmas found in Jesus Christ
How does the birth of Jesus speak to the feelings and emotions in our lives that have left our hope dim?
Luke 1:26-34 NIV
26 In the sixth month of Elizabethʼs pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virginʼs name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacobʼs descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Luke 1:36-38 NIV
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lordʼs servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Matthew 1:18-19 NIV
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Matthew 1:20-21 NIV
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:22-25 NIV
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
We recognize that HOPE is HERE when we shift our perspective from OUR PLANS to GOD'S PROMISE.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Interrogate your hope
2. Allow Jesus to change your perspective
3. Enable your hope in Jesus to "surprise" you this Christmas
We all love surprises—at least the kind that benefit us and make life a little easier. Imagine Mary’s surprise when the angel first appeared to her!
1. What was the most surprising gift you ever received for Christmas? What was it and how did you react?
2. Read Luke 1:26-38. How did God surprise Mary? Was this a good or not-so-good surprise for her? Explain.
3. What would Mary have faced in her day as a unmarried pregnant woman? See the verses below.
· Leviticus 22:20-21
· Matthew 1:18-19
· John 8:1-5
· Luke 7:36-39
4. In what ways did Mary respond to the angel in Luke 1:26-38? What explains her response in 1:38 and 1:4655?
5. Have you experienced a not-so-good surprise recently? How do you think God could use this surprise as part of His bigger plan to bless others through you?