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Who Is This Child?

“What’s the baby’s name?” is often the first question to new parents. For months parents-to-be discuss how names sound together, the meaning of favorite names, or which ancestor to honor. The name finally decided upon identifies the child with the family and with the parents’ hopes for their baby.

Choosing a name was not an issue for Mary and Joseph. But grasping the meaning of the names of Mary’s baby helps each generation to answer the question, “Who is this child?”

Read Isaiah 9:6-7

1. From the titles given and the action predicted, what do you learn about the child to be born?

 

Read Luke 1:26-38

2. What does Gabriel tell Mary about the identity and work of the child to be born?

 

What details are the same as those in Isaiah?

 

Which are additional?

 

Read Luke 2:1-7
3. What takes Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem?

 

Imagine their experiences, thoughts, feelings during the trip and at the birth.

 

4. How do the events described here contrast with what one would expect from Isaiah’s prophecy and Gabriel’s announcement to Mary?

 

Read Luke 2:8-20

5. What is ordinary, and what is extraordinary in this birth announcement?

 

6. What is the main message in this announcement?

 

Why is it good news?

 

How does the birth of Jesus bring glory in heaven (verse 14)?

 

7. What are the various responses to this event in verses 18-20?

 

Give examples of similar responses to Jesus today.

 

Read John 1:1-14

8. In verse 14, how is the Word of verses 2-5 identified?

 

9. What do you learn from these verses that the innkeeper at Bethlehem (Luke 2) did not know about the child born in his manger?

 

How and why do you think many men and women today act like those described in verses 10 and 11?

 

10. What happens to those who receive him and believe on his name?

 

What does it mean to believe on his name?

 

Read aloud together:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem:
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels!
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

The Brightness of glory, Light of light eternal,
Our lowly nature He hath not abhorred;
Son of the Father, Word of God Incarnate!
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

- Latin Hymn, 18th Century

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