#911. Luke 2. review - Jesus is born (3/10/23)
This week, in our devotionals, we are revisiting certain aspects of the Gospel of Luke as we prepare to resume this series. Today, we will review some of the key insights we have gained from Luke Chapter 2.
To listen to this devotional, go to:
The Birth of Jesus:
After Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem for the census, Jesus is born in extremely humble circumstances. Luke records:
‘While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.’ (Luke 2:6-7)
The Appearance of Angels to the Shepherds:
He then narrates the angelic appearance to the shepherds and how, after visiting Jesus in the stable, ‘they spread the word concerning what had been told them.’ The angels declare:
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
Jesus Presented in the Temple:
Luke records how the newborn Jesus was taken to the temple for the customary rites following the birth of a child. Here, he tells us about two remarkable encounters with Simeon and Anna, two elderly individuals who have been eagerly awaiting the Messiah.
Simeon, upon meeting Christ and holding Him in his arms, is inspired by the Spirit to declare:
‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’ (Luke 2:29-32)
Regarding Anna, the prophetess, Luke informs us:
'Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.' (Luke 2:38)
The Boy Jesus at the Temple:
The final scene presented in Luke chapter 2 is that of the boy Jesus in the temple. After searching for Jesus, who had gone missing as they returned home from the Passover Festival, Jesus tells His parents:
‘Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?’ (Luke 2:49)
In response, what are some of the things that God wants us to learn from this chapter? Here are four key ideas:
i. Through these events, the prophesied plan of God (as seen in passages like Micah 5:2) is fulfilled. God works through human decrees, even using people and governments outside of His Kingdom to fulfil His promises. May we learn to trust in God's sovereignty over all powers and circumstances.
ii. Luke's inclusion of the shepherds (often despised at that time) and the humble circumstances of Jesus' birth invites us to see and embrace God's heart for the poor and outcasts.
iii. Simeon and Anna serve as examples of waiting with eager anticipation for the coming of the Messiah (the Christ) due to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working within them. May we, from youth to old age, remain people of faith and expectation.
iv. Jesus is revealed as human and yet is also the divine Son. Like Jesus, let’s spend time in our Father’s house to learn and commune. Let’s make space to be alone with our Father to learn from His word and be refreshed in His presence.
Finally, I encourage you to read Luke chapter 2 and pray about the aspects that the Spirit brings to your attention.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY -SIV WEEK
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Let's use the icebreaker that we talked about in our vision series: How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together - This week is 'SIV' Week.
Last Sunday, it was a joy to have a child dedication and a number of baptisms. It was also very encouraging to have so many guests amongst us to celebrate and hear the gospel. I hope we can see that this Sunday was a snapshot of what every Sunday could be like if we all got serious about SIV and praying about it.
Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus. As we begin, and sorry if this is a bit repetitive, let's ensure that we understand what our SIV strategy is.
SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes and hospitality, to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel.
Discussion and prayer
As we look to restart our Luke series this coming Sunday, please read Luke 1:76-79.
How are we to continue the ministry of John the Baptist?
What does this text teach about our message and the source of our confidence?
Do you have any encouraging stories of how you've been serving, investing and inviting?
Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable?
Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Lets pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, invest and invite.