PROPHECY: From Micah 5:2, we can see that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem…and this prophecy was given around 700 BC. How does recognizing the various fulfilled prophecies enhance our confidence in the trustworthiness of God & His Word?
HISTORY: From v. 1-3, we see timeline details in light of the local rulers & the Roman Empire. How does God being over all things, even the timing of various emperors & rulers, show his sovereignty? What changes when we believe that nothing is too difficult for God, that He can work all things together for His glory & our good?
GEOGRAPHY: From v. 4, the description says that they “went up” to Bethlehem. This detail, when put under scrutiny, can appear to be a mistake…but they “went up” in elevation to Bethlehem. How can these small details give confirmation of the accuracy of the account?
PREGNANCY: Pastor Nate spoke of the hardships of Mary & Joseph’s reality of a pregnancy that would’ve sparked rumors. He made the point that these struggles were in light of God’s activity…showing that although God is at work, it doesn’t mean that it will be pleasant. What helps people remain confident in God through difficult circumstances?
DELIVERY: There are few details about the delivery in v 6-7a. But we were cautioned against “Hallmarking” this event & instead remember the humanity of Jesus’ birth. What are ways people can wind up “Hallmarking” the birth of Jesus?
OBSCURITY: From v. 7 we see that Mary gives birth, wraps her baby, & lays him in a manger. This shows the loneliness & obscurity of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth. How does realizing that this birth was done in a lonely & obscure fashion give comfort to those who are weary this Christmas?
POVERTY: The greatness of the Son of God in Luke 1 is contrasted by the poverty of the Son of God laying in a manor with no place in the inn from Luke 2. Why is it important to affirm both of these aspects concerning the birth of Jesus?
APPLICATION: We ended by hearing that we respond to the greatness of God through IMITATION: Imitating Christ by lowering ourselves, humbling ourselves, and serving others. Pastor Nate read from Philippians 2:3-8 & said that this position of imitating Christ is for the salvation & sanctification of others for the glory of God. So what are ways you can meaningful humble yourself & serve others?