And the Angel Said…
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Lesson Goal: To learn that God is not the God of fear, that He does not speak only to the elite of this world, and that He sent the “Ultimate Good News” to all people, even to the good ole boys.
Introduction: Throughout Scriptures depicting the Christmas story, we find the words “fear not” and “do not be afraid.” These words were spoken not only to Zacharias but to a virgin named Mary, a man named Joseph, and to a band of “good ole boy” shepherds.
At some time in life, we all experience fear. We usually try to hide our fear; in fact, we often try to master fear by masking it or coping with it through over-aggression. Bullying would be an example of this coping method.
* What are some things that cause you to be afraid?
Answering this question may be difficult, because answering requires an admission of fear. Do your fears relate to growing older, to the economy, fixed incomes, college expenses, mortgage payments, health issues, healthcare, issues concerning children and grandchildren…?
* In the heart of the Christmas story, we find the words “Fear not.” Please read 2 Timothy 1:7. What does this verse say about fear in the life of the true believer?
In Luke 1:11-14, the angel of the Lord appears to a man named Zacharias, whom we would describe as a senior adult. Zacharias and his senior adult wife, Elizabeth, had not been able to have children. But on this day, as described in verse 13, the angel tells Zacharias that his prayers have been heard and that Elizabeth will have a baby boy whose name is to be John.
According to verse 12, when Zacharias saw the angel he was shocked and afraid, but the angel spoke words of comfort and power: “Do not be afraid.” The angel also told him that the birth of his son, John, would be a time of gladness and joy. The Scriptures declare that John would be a mighty man of God. Read Luke 2:14-17.
Luke 1:26-30 tells of the angel’s visit with Mary (please read).
* What do you believe were some things that may have gone through young Mary’s mind when the angel gave her this news?
* The angel said to Mary: “Do not be ________________.”
* What may have been some of Mary’s fears?
Please read Matthew 1:18-25. In verse 20, we again read the words: “Do not be afraid.” This time the words are spoken to Mary’s fiancé, Joseph.
* What were some of Joseph’s fears?
Please read Luke 2:8-20, giving special attention to verse 10.
This time the angel appears to shepherds watching sheep out in the field. Again find the words: “Do not be afraid” spoken by the angel to some callused-handed shepherds—some good ole boys. The guys who smell like sweat, sheep and dirt. In a special way, these guys represent the plain old ordinary folks of the world. This would be the class to which I belong. These guys were accustomed to tents, not palaces. They cooked over an open fire, not in a rotisserie oven. They dreamed under the stars, not of becoming stars. On this night, the greatest announcement in the history of the world is given to these lowly good ole boy shepherds. The announcement begins with: “Do not be afraid.” What started out as just another night like the thousands of nights before was interrupted by a heavenly visit to announce “The Good News.”
Quickly the shepherds made their way to Bethlehem to see this which was spoken of by the angels (please read verses 15-20), and there they found everything just as the angel had told them. Imagine what it must have been like for these shepherds. In just a couple of hours they have gone from pulling night watch to stepping into the very presence of the “Newborn King.”
* How do you think the shepherds felt?
* What must their emotions have been like on this night? Remember it started with fear, but where are their emotions now? Read verse 20.
* What brought about this change?
Read verses 10 & 11—“For there is born to you…”
This is the Savior of all people of all lands, even the good ole boys of the world. This Savior is not just for the elite, but for all people. He is the Savior that the Old Testament prophesied. He is the Savior Scripture has declared, and now on this night, He has been born in Bethlehem! The joy of this good news is that it is “The Ultimate Good News” which “will be to all people.”
Please join with the good ole boy shepherds to glorify and praise God for “The Ultimate Good News.” As a class, lift your voices together and sing.
Joy to the World
Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love
…especially to all the good ole boys.
Your pastor and friend, Bro. Mick
And the Angel Said…