Glory to the Newborn King (Luke 2:8-14)
Topic: Advent Scripture: Luke 2:8–2:14
First Scripture Reading: Isaiah 61:1-11
Second Scripture Reading: Hebrews 1:1-14
Sermon Text: Luke 2:8-14
One of the most famous lines in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, is “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” Juliet said this to emphasize that she loved Romeo as a person and did not care that his family name, Montague, made him repulsive to her family.
When we consider Jesus’ name, however, we see that there is great significance in what it reveals about his identity and mission. We read in Matthew 1:20-21 that as Joseph was considering divorcing Mary because he considered her to be unfaithful, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” On the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels revealed even more about Jesus’ identity and mission when they attributed to him the titles of Savior, Christ, and Lord. This is why Jesus’ name is the sweetest name and is the name above all names. Charles Wesley, in his hymn “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” describes the beauty of Jesus’ name: “Jesus, the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; ‘tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘tis life and health and peace.”
1. Read Luke 2:1-7. Why does Luke mention two historical people in verses 1-2? Why is it significant that Jesus was born in Bethlehem? What do you learn about Jesus’ humanity in verses 6-7?
2. Read Luke 1:67-80. How is Jesus’ saving work described? What does the Bible mean when it describes Jesus as Savior? What do we need to be saved from?
3. Read Luke 4:14-30. How does this passage reveal that Jesus was the Christ (the “Anointed One”)? Why do you think those in the synagogue responded so violently?
4. Read Colossians 1:15-20. How does the Apostle Paul describe the lordship of Jesus?
5. Read Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 8 (Christ the Mediator). How does section 2 describe the human and divine natures of Christ? What blessings for believers are outlined in section 5?
6. In preparation for next week, read Philippians 2:14-18. What’s wrong with grumbling and disputing? Why did the Israelites grumble in the wilderness? What was God’s response?
More in Advent
December 16, 2018O Little Town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7)