Sunday School Material 12-25-16: The Savior Has Arrived

(Luke 2:8-20; 12/25/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is shepherds shared in the arrival of Jesus. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to appreciate God’s using us to spread the news about Jesus.

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Read Luke 2:8-14

I. Announcing the Savior. There are some shepherds out caring for their sheep. In our Sunday School material an angel of the Lord appeared and has to calm the fears of the shepherds.

The angel talks about the Savior has been born. A great company joins the scene offering praises to God.

Applications –

- Ordinary people. Notice in vss. 8-10 of our Sunday School material that God uses ordinary people.

First, being a shepherd was not an occupation of high status. Think of a garbage truck worker, janitor, or maybe a bus driver. But since God used them, we should be open to God using us, no matter what our occupation (or lack thereof) may be. 

Second, the idea of God using us can be a little scary, but we must work on developing more faith in God than fear of circumstances. Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples is a great way to work on our faith development.

Let’s work on trusting God to use us, in spite of how ordinary we may see ourselves.

- Jesus is Lord. Notice in vs. 11 that Jesus was born Lord (i.e., the One anointed to be in authority). Jesus didn’t have to become Lord. Jesus is God the Son. God was born into flesh through Jesus.

The key idea to remember is that Jesus is in a category all by Himself. He is not just another prophet, priest, or king. Let’s live like Jesus is Lord. This kind of living should be known for obeying God’s commands to love Him with all that we have and love others, as we love ourselves.

- Praising God. Notice in vss. 13-14, 20 that the angelic hosts and shepherds praised God. First, from the least to the greatest should give God enthusiastic praise. There are too many who gave God more praise when they had less.

The more they received (e.g., money, position, years, etc.) the less praise they give to God.

Second, one of the things that we should praise God for is how He offers peace and favor to those who belong to Him. God is not out to destroy us. He loves us so much that He wants us to enjoy peace and favor. Let’s work on praising God with enthusiasm.

Read Luke 2:15-16

II. Meeting the Savior. The angels left the shepherds. In our Sunday School material the shepherds reasoned among themselves that it would be good to go and see what the angels were exciting about. They hurried off and found Mary, Joseph, and the Baby in the manager.

Applications –

- Responding to God’s will. Notice in vss. 15-16 that after the shepherds’ divine encounter, they had an energetic desire to do something.

First, every time we worship God, prayerfully study His word, or fellowship with His people, we should see these occasions as divine encounters. These are several ways that God is present with us.

Second, we should respond to divine encounters with a willingness to energetically obey God’s will. We should always look for the verb in our encounter. We should look for what is God calling us to do. And then we should do it with enthusiasm.

Third, it is good to have people who can support you and share your passion, as in the text. The church, especially growth groups, should be a place of finding fellow disciples who at least understand, if not share, your excitement about pursing God’s will.

Let’s work on responding to God’s will for our lives.

Read Luke 2:17-20

III. Proclaiming the Savior. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they went and told others about Him. Mary treasured the occasions in her heart. In our Sunday School material the shepherds returned with praise and confirmation.

Applications –

- Witnessing. Notice in vs. 17 that the shepherds were witnesses about Jesus being born. In like manner, we should be witnesses about our experiences with God.

We may be as unlearned as the shepherds, but we still have our experiences to share. We have our experiences of being saved and being kept by the Lord. Many of us have experiences of being delivered by the Lord.

Witnessing is telling what we know to be true. There are people in our circle of family and friends who need to hear about our experiences with God. Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord.

- Treasuring up and pondering. Notice in vs. 19 of our Sunday School material that Mary treasured up and pondered these things in her heart.

This at least means that she made a conscious effort to reflect on what was going on, to remember what was going on, and to revisit the happenings from time to time.

In like manner, we should work on being more mindful of what God is doing in our lives, strive to remember how He worked in our lives, and revisit how He has worked in our lives.

The devil loves to have us in a panic mood and disconnected from how good God has already been to us. Let’s work on treasuring up and pondering how God is working in our lives.

Conclusion: Let’s work on spreading the news about Jesus. God has much for those who obey His will.

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