#823. Play your part in revealing Jesus (26/5/23)
‘He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well on in years.’’ (Luke 1:16-18)
‘You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’’ (Luke 1:31-34)
Summary: Let’s trust God’s promise to reveal Christ through us over our weaknesses and challenges.
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The section that we have been looking at this week (1:5-38) teaches us that it was God’s will to bring Jesus into the world, and He chose to do this - as is often the case - through the least expected vessels. This section reveals that God wants to continue to reveal Christ, and He will do this through normal, weak people like us.
We can easily fall for the idea that God works through the attractive, charismatic, and intelligent. Of course, being attractive by worldly standards can help you succeed in many things, but it won’t make you any more successful in revealing Christ, who is only discerned through the work of the Spirit.
These accounts make it very clear that Jesus being revealed was a great miracle of God. May we all, like Paul learn to trust in the work of the Spirit behind any success of revealing Christ:
‘For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 4:6)
If we were following worldly values, we would never choose Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary to reveal Christ. However, it’s a great encouragement and deep challenge to realise that we are called to reveal Christ and we are not to disqualify ourselves and shirk our responsibility.
Like Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and John the Baptist, we all have very real weaknesses and struggles. But, like them, we are called to trust God’s word of promise that God will reveal Christ through us no matter what.
Let’s trust God’s promise to reveal Christ through us over our weaknesses and challenges. God fulfils His promise to reveal Christ through John the Baptist, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah who could have children! God fulfils His promise to reveal Christ through the virgin Mary and God wants to reveal Christ to and through us. Let’s respond like these two women:
“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.” (Luke 1:25)
“I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:38)
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 1:5-38
The message of Luke 1:5-38 can be summarised as: God wants us to believe and receive Jesus as Saviour, God and King. Like Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary, we have to take a journey from questioning God’s word to believing and worshipping.
What is prophesied regarding John’s character and ministry?
What is prophesied regarding Jesus' character and ministry?
What were the challenges that Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary had to believing the angel’s promises to them?
Zechariah’s questioning receives God’s discipline whereas Mary’s does not? What made Mary’s questioning acceptable to God and what can we learn from this?
What does this section (Luke 1:5-38) teach us and how can it be applied in our lives?
SIV - What does this section teach us about how God can and wants to work through us to bring Jesus to our communities?
SIV - How could you serve, invest and invite this week and let’s pray about that.
Prayer - How would you like prayer as a result of today’s study?