Family Bible Study Lesson for December 21: What Child is This? : Monday, Dec. 1, 2003
December 1 2003 by Claude Frazier

Family Bible Study Lesson for December 21: What Child is This? : Monday, Dec. 1, 2003
Monday, Dec. 1, 2003

Family Bible Study Lesson for December 21: What Child is This?

By Claude Frazier
Focal Passages: Luke 2:4-7, 27-38

Journey to Bethlehem

Near the end of the reign of Herod the Great, Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in a census, which had been order by Caesar Augustus. Accommodations for travelers were very primitive; they had to take all their personal needs and food.

At this particular time, Bethlehem was very crowded and Mary was great with child. There was no lodging available for them. No room in the inn was symbolic of what would happen to Jesus later. The only room for Him would be on a cross.

While they were in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth. Jesus was laid in a manager and His first clothes were swaddling clothes, believed to be a square of cloth with a long strip coming from one corner, which was wrapped around and around the child.

The birth of Jesus is special because of who He is - God's Son who offers salvation to all people. It was a unique birth because Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38).

The Shepherd and Angels

A wonderful announcement from God came to a special, unsuspecting, simple group, the shepherds. An angel told them not to be afraid and where to find baby Jesus. Because shepherds could not keep details of the law to the letter, orthodox people looked down on them. Some think this group of shepherds was tending sheep used in Temple sacrifices.

The angel delivering the good news was joined by a host of angels praising God and telling of peace and good will on earth.

The Aged Simeon and Anna

After Jesus' birth and Mary's purification, Jesus was praised by a man and woman awaiting biblical prophecies.

Simeon had waited quietly and patiently on God. He had a faithful expectation and waited for the day God would comfort and deliver His people. Simeon had been promised through the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen God's own anointed king. He recognized Jesus as that King.

When he heard about Jesus' birth, he was a happy and contented man. Simeon announced that Jesus would be the cause whereby many would fall and many would rise. He knew Jesus' life would be full of sorrows and that He would meet much opposition.

A person either surrenders to Jesus or is at war with Him. Pride is most often the culprit that keeps a person from attaining salvation through Christ.

Anna was a prophetess and widow. She had known sorrows but did not let that make her bitter. Even though she was 84 years old, she never stopped hoping. She knew God would send deliverance to Jerusalem. She worshipped with fasting and prayer, and never left the Temple day or night. She never stopped worshipping or praying. Her private worship kept Anna's hope alive in old age.

If we are to be ready for Christ's second coming, it would be well for us to follow Anna and Simeon's examples.

The Wonder of the Birth

All through this lesson, we see the rough simplicity of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. Everyone would have expected the God's Son to be born in a palace.

This brings to mind the story of a monarch who would disappear at times and walk among his people incognito. This worried his security people. They asked him to stop. He answered, "I cannot rule my people unless I know how they live."

God knows the life we live, because He lived it too. This made Jesus' birth so special. But many people get so involved with celebrating Christmas that they forget Christ is the reason for celebrating.

God's Son was born into the world for the sole purpose of dying for humanity's sins and saving those who believe in Him.
12/1/2003 12:00:00 AM by Claude Frazier | with 0 comments




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