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Lesson 1


The Birth of Jesus


I.      The Two Genealogies (ancestor lists): Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38

                A.    Matthew

                        1.     Matthew was written principally to those of the Jewish race.  It begins with Abraham and

                                emphasizes the royal line of Jesus.

                        2.     Matthew writes of the legal descent, and for that reason he traces the line through Joseph. 

                                Legal descent was always through the male.

                B.    Luke 

                        1.     Luke begins with Adam, thereby showing that Jesus is for everyone: Jew and Gentile.

                        2.     Luke writes of descent through Mary, Jesus' true mother.

                        3.     Luke begins his list with Jesus in order to focus attention on him.

II.    His Future Birth Announced – Luke 1:5-72; Matthew 1:18-25

                A.    Luke – By the angel Gabriel to Mary

                        1.     Gabriel told her to give the boy the name Jesus – Luke 1:31

                        2.     Gabriel told her son would always reign – Luke 1:33

                        3.     Gabriel said that the Holy Spirit would come upon her so that she could conceive Jesus –

                                Luke 1:35

                B.    Matthew – Be an angel in a dream to Joseph

                        1.     He assured Joseph that the child had not been conceived by another man but by the

                                Holy Spirit – Matthew 1:20

                        2.     He told him to name the child Jesus because he would save his people from their

                                sins – Matthew 1:21

III.   Prophecies of the Supernatural Birth

                A.    Isaiah 9:6-7 11:1-10 (compare Matthew 1:6)

                B.    Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:22-23 – He would be born of a virgin; note Jeremiah 22:24-30

                        and Matthew 1:12 – Joseph could not have fathered Jesus according to this prophecy.

                C.    Micah 5:2 – 700 years before the event

                        1.     Prophesied that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

                        2.     Jesus would have been born in Nazareth if he had been born a little earlier.

IV.   The Virgin Birth

                A.    Importance

                        1.     It shows biblical authority since the Bible clearly states that the birth of Jesus was a miracle.

                                a.     Note Matthew 1:16 – speaking of descendants, until this verse Matthew writes of

                                        "the father of…" but here he says nothing of Joseph being a father, but rather that he

                                        was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

                                b.     Matthew 1:18 – Mary conceived the child by means of the Holy Spirit before she and

                                        Joseph began to live together.

                                c.     Luke 1:31-34 – Gabriel's announcement surprised Mary because she had no husband.

                        2.     As we have noted, the virgin birth fulfilled prophecy.

                        3.     The Virgin birth shows that Jesus was divine, not just someone that pleased God.

                B.    The Consequences of Denying the Virgin Birth

                        1.     It would make the Bible an unreliable book, one that could not be believed.

                        2.     It would make Jesus only a human being, nothing more.

                        3.     It would make Jesus a man born out of fornication.

V.    Chronology (order) of the Events

                A.    Quirinius was Governor of Syria; Augustus was the Roman Emperor – Between 6 and 4 B.C.

                B.    Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to be enrolled in the census.

                C.    Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem because there was no room in the inn.

                D.    An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds telling them of the birth of the Messiah

                        and where to find Him (other angels arrived shortly thereafter).

                E.     The Shepherds hurried to the place and found the three: Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

                F.     Some wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem and asked King Herod where they could

                        find the king of the Jews that had just been born.  Guided by a star, they arrived at the

                        stable and gave gifts to the child.

VI.   The Pre- Existent Christ – John 1:1-18

                A.    He existed at the beginning with God and as God – John 1:1

                B.    Through Him everything was made, and nothing was made without Him – John. 1:3

                C.    He became a man, taking the form of a servant – Phil. 2:7. This is called the incarnation.



Questions                                                                             The Birth of Jesus


1.     Why are the lists of ancestors different in Matthew and Luke?


2.     TRUE OR FALSE. Circle the "T" for true or the "F" for false.

                T F          1.     The decision to name the child "Jesus" was only Joseph's idea.

                T F          2.     Jesus' birth was announced to Mary, but Joseph had to be told of it by Mary.

                T F 3.     Gabriel told them to name the child "Jesus" because God like the sound of the name.

                T F 4.     Joseph wanted to break off the relationship quietly, but he changed his mind when he

                                                        was assured by the angel that the child was of the Holy Spirit.

                T F 5.     Herod wanted to know where to find Jesus in order to worship him.


3.     What happened to Mary before she and Joseph were married?


4.     According to Isaiah, of whom would the Messiah be born?


5.     Based upon what God said in Jeremiah 22:24-30, why couldn't Joseph be the father of the Messiah?


6.     Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in what town?


7.     Put these events in chronological order with 1 in the blank of the first event, 2 in the second, and so on.

                a.     __________ The shepherds went to look for Jesus.

                b.     __________ Jesus was born in a stable.

                c.     __________ Some wise men from the East visit Jesus and present him with gifts.

                d.     __________ Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to enroll in the census.

                e.     __________ The shepherds are told of Jesus' birth.


8.     What are three things that show the importance of the Virgin Birth?


9.     Why is it dangerous to deny that Jesus was born of a virgin?


10.   In your opinion, why did God include the history of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke?


11.   In what way did the pre-existent Christ participate in the creation?


12.   What is the incarnation?


13.   Application:


        A.    How can the fact that Jesus was both God and man help you in your daily life?


        B. What can you learn from the reaction of the shepherds upon hearing of Jesus' birth?



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