Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for December 19

THE SAVIOR WHO CAME TO US

Luke 2:4–12, 16–20

Our lives are defined and directed by the decisions we make. However, many times our lives are affected by the decisions of others.

At Christmas, we celebrate an incredible decision that was made in the courts of heaven, long before the foundation of the world, that God would redeem sinful man by the sacrifice of His own Son. The birth of Jesus was a decision based on the love of God, and set into motion an eternity of consequences.

We first read about the decision in Genesis 3:15 when God declared judgment upon the sin of man. He said to the serpent, “He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Many have said a scarlet thread of redemption is running from Genesis to Revelation. In 81 Old Testament passages are 52 prophecies about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

In 2 Samuel 7:16 the prophet Nathan takes a message of hope and promise to David: “ Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”

Jesus’ humble birth fulfilled the promise of God. (4–7)

In order to fulfill His promises, God brought people and historical events together.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

In the Christmas story in Luke 2, we see the hand of God moving in the Roman Empire as Caesar Augustus calls for a worldwide census. This requires Joseph to return to his ancestral home to be counted. He takes Mary, to whom he is engaged. By this time, Mary is very pregnant with the Son of God. The Messiah would be born in the genealogical “line” of David in David’s hometown. I find it fascinating that Jesus, who would refer to Himself as “The Bread of Life” would be born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.”

Angels proclaimed the good news that the Savior was born. (8–12)

Jesus did not come as a conquering King to a palace in Jerusalem. Instead, He came as a humble, vulnerable baby to a manger in a small village. The angels must have looked on in wonder and amazement to see their King coming to Earth in such a fashion.

It gives me great joy to see that the first recipients of the good news of Jesus’ birth were humble shepherds watching their sheep in the fields. Startled from their sleep, they trembled at the presence of an angel. Before the glorious news was shared a word was spoken: “Fear not!” 

Shepherding was one of the lowest forms of labor, and it was to the “lowest of the low” that the angels first declared the good news.

People rejoice when they recognize the truth of salvation. (16–20)

When the multitude of angels departed, the shepherds immediately left their flocks in search of the newborn King. They didn’t enter into a long debate; they believed and resolved to find Him. 

We should be like those shepherds and diligently seek the Savior, Jesus Christ. He came on heaven’s search-and-rescue mission for you and me. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, there was no room for Him at the inn. The question now is this: Is there room in your heart and life for Jesus?


By Don Fugate
Fugate is senior pastor at Foxworthy Baptist Church in San Jose, California.

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