In the rush of the Christmas season we can be so preoccupied with buying and making gifts that we don’t take time to think about God’s gift to us, his Son. The events of the first Christmas remind us of the real cost of Christmas—its cost in the lives of those involved with the birth of Christ, and the supreme cost to God himself.
Read Luke 1:26-38
1. List the details Luke tells about the messenger and about the one who receives the message in verses 26-38.
2. What does Gabriel tell Mary about who her child will be and what her child will do?
What is Mary’s question to Gabriel, and how is it answered?
How do you account for the change in Mary from verse 29 to verse 38?
Read Matthew 1:18-25
3. When Joseph discovers that Mary is expecting a child, what does he plan to do, and how is he prevented from doing it?
Note: In that culture, betrothal was binding legally, and divorce was required to break it.
4. What does the angel tell Joseph about Mary and her child, and what this child will do?
5. What must this whole situation cost Joseph?
Read Luke 2:1-20
6. What takes Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
Imagine what this trip and the difficulty of finding shelter means for Mary. Suggest a comparable present-day experience.
7. How did the shepherds receive the first birth announcement of the Messiah?
According to verses 10 and 11, what was the significance of the event in Bethlehem?
8. What command is implied in verse 12?
What would the shepherds have missed if they had decided they were too busy for such heaven-directed pursuits?
Read Matthew 2:1-23
9. What motivates the Magi (Wise Men) to travel to Jerusalem?
What does Herod learn from the Wise Men from the East?
What do they learn from Herod?
From what source does he get his information?
10. What four prophecies are fulfilled by the events of this chapter (verses 6, 15, 16-18, 23)?
At what cost to the people involved?
1. Look again at those who have a part in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. What is the cost to each of them?
2. The Contemporary English Version of 2 Corinthians 8:9 says: You know that our Lord Jesus Christ was kind enough to give up all his riches and become poor, so that you could become rich. What did coming to this earth cost Jesus Christ?