A couple of weeks ago we began our Inductive Study of the Story of the Birth of Jesus. We have looked at the characters who dot the Christmas story, as well as the setting. Then we met the Long-awaited One! I hope you have been enjoying this study of Him! Yesterday we started to look at the reaction to the birth of Jesus. The responses of two groups and one individual may give us an idea of how we should react to our Savior’s birth.
Let’s dig in!
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Yesterday we heard the announcement of Jesus’ birth. Do you remember who made this announcement? (an angel of the Lord) And do you remember what the angel of the Lord said? (I bring you good news of great joy, which shall be for all the people)
Yesterday we got just a glimpse at the shepherds who heard this announcement. We answered the basic questions about them. Where were these shepherds? (in the same region, in the fields) What time of day is it? (night) What did they suddenly see? (an angel of the Lord) Today we are going to read Luke 2:8-20 to see what else we can learn about these shepherds.
The Initial Response
Read Luke 2:15-16 and record what we learn about the shepherds’ response to the angelic announcement.
- began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem..” (15)
- desired to see this thing that has happened (15)
- believed the Lord made this event known to them (15)
- came in haste (16)
- found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby (16)
This seems a fitting response to the “good news of great joy,” doesn’t it? It would be hard to witness what the shepherds just saw and go back to the job of shepherding. This news changed the course of their evening, for sure!
Would you want to hasten to see the sign the angels gave the shepherds? (discussion question)
As we read the next few verses, let’s look for the new job the shepherds had. They were still shepherds, but they started doing something new. Let’s look for that in verses 17-19. Let’s make a list of the things the shepherds did in these few verses and the reactions of those around them:
- they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child (17)
- told the things (18)
- all who heard it wondered at the things (18)
- Mary treasured all these things (19)
- Mary pondered them in her heart (19)
The shepherds had a new job, right? What would you call their new job? (witnesses, evangelists – good news tellers, reporters, etc.) If you had been there and heard the shepherds testify about what they had seen, how would you react? If all you knew was what the shepherds said about this baby, what would you think? (discussion questions)
The Resulting Reaction
The last verse we are going to look at today gives us an idea of what happened after this big event in the shepherds’ lives. Read verse 20.
And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.Luke 2:20
What does this verse said the shepherds did after they saw the baby and testified about what the angel of the Lord and the angels said? (they went back) To where did they “go back?” (the sheep, shepherding) What were they doing as they went about their regular job? (glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen) Was the angel of the Lord telling the truth to the shepherds? (Yes!)
Isn’t it wonderful when God’s word is proven true? It caused the shepherds to praise and glorify God. What does it mean for you that the word of God was proven true for the shepherds? (God is trustworthy! but this is a great discussion question)
Why do you think God chose to share the “good news of great joy” to the shepherds first?
Tomorrow we will we will look at what happened when the shepherds were all alone again, when the glory of the Lord no longer shone around them. I am so excited to talk about it with you. Stay tuned!