The Ultimate Good News
Lesson Goal: To learn that the “Ultimate Good News” is good news for all people, even the good ole boys.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
We begin with Luke 1:11-14. In these verses, we see an angel of the Lord appearing 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 would have a baby boy whose name was 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.
Found throughout the Christmas story are the words “fear not” and “do not be afraid.” These words were spoken not on- ly to Zacharias but also to a virgin named Mary, a man named Joseph, and to a band of “good ole boy” shepherds.
Fear is something we all encounter at some time. We usually try to hide our fear; in fact, often we try to master fear by masking it or cope with it through over-aggression. Bullying would be an example of this coping method.
What are some things that cause you to fear today?
Answering this question may be difficult, because to answer, requires an admission of fear. Do your fears relate to grow- ing older, to the economy, fixed incomes, college expenses, mortgage payments, health issues, healthcare, issues of chil- dren 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?
We move from Zacharias to the story of the angel’s visit with Mary. Please read Luke 1:26-30. Did you again read the words: “Do not be afraid”? What do you believe were some of the things that may have gone through young Mary’s mind when she received this news?
- What may have been some of Mary’s fears?
- The angel said to Mary: “Do not be ________________.”Please read Matthew 1:18-25. Again we read the words in verse 20: “Do not be afraid.” This time the words are spoken to Mary’s fiancé, Joseph.
What were some of Joseph’s fears?
Now we turn our attention to the shepherds—the good ole boys. The term “good ole boys” is used with respect and appreciation. Please read Luke 2:8-20, giving special attention to verse 10.
Here we again find the words: “Do not be afraid.” This time the angel speaks the words to the good ole boys—the callused-hands guys. Those guys that 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 like a thousand nights before, just another night in the lives of these shepherds, was interrupted by a heavenly visit to announce “The Ultimate Good News.”
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Lesson 94—December 20, 2015
Read verses 10 and 11.
“For there is born to you”
This Savior is the Savior of all people of all lands, even the good old 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.”
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 theiremotions now? Read verse 20.
- What brought about this change? Was it “The Ultimate Good News”?Remembering that Christmas is only five days away, 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.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 (Watts).
…especially to all the good ole boys.—Your pastor and friend, Bro. Mick