PDF of Study Guide available HERE

God came to be WITH Us. He came to serve, to demonstrate what real Love looks like. We can learn to be WITH Him and WITH Others in order to serve them and demonstrate His Love.

On September 28, 1928.  Alexander Fleming entered his laboratory to find that someone had left a petri dish of Staphylococcus open the night before. That mere mishap concluded with the discovery of Penicillin.  Years later Dr. Fleming referred to the event as serendipitous. 

We often fail to recognize the significance of an event when it occurs, and Matthew 1:21-23 is one such event.

Matthew 1:21-23 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” 

The miracle of the Virgin Birth is actually a lesser event meant to draw your attention to the much larger miracle regarding the arrival of Immanuel, “God with us”.  That the King of Heaven should come to Earth is beyond unprecedented.

  • What’s the most stressful part of the Christmas season for you? Why?
  • Why do you think Jesus chose to enter this world in such a humble, undignified way?
  • Read Matthew 1:21-23. What did the angel say was the primary purpose of Jesus? What does this teach us about humanity and about God?

Of Kings and Servants!

Real leaders love those they lead.  When Queen Wilhelmina was crowned Queen over the Netherlands at the age of ten, the story is told that when she saw the crowd, she asked Queen Emma (her mother) if “all these people belong to me?” “No, my child,” replied the Queen-Regent, “it is you who belong to all these people.”  She lived out that lesson. During World War 2, she was known for encouraging her people by radio and even traveling among her people by bicycle.

Herod was no such King. He commanded the Wise Men to inform him regarding the location and identity of the Christ child, but they were warned by God that Herod had malicious intent.  So they escaped Palestine without notifying Herod, which He did not take well.

Matthew 2:16 (NLT) Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under…

Herod had the infant sons of Bethlehem killed, which proves him to be a very small man indeed. While Scripture is the only historical record of this event, it is certainly consistent with his behavior in other matters. And, since Bethlehem was a small town, it is likely this atrocity was unknown to the world at large.  The simple truth is that the great men of this world are just not that impressive. If they do possess power, their many flaws tend to be magnified.  But there IS a King!

Isaiah 6:1-3 (NLT) I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim… 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Now that is a KING!!! A King surrounded with love and admiration. A King with absolute power and absolute Love. If we could wrap our hearts around that King, our lives would be forever altered. Because, this King WANTS to be with us!!! He Likes us!!! He cares about what we are going through, what we think, and where we are going in this life.  He is a Mighty King, but he is also…

  • Why is the idea of Immanuel, God being with us, so significant?
  • Read Luke 4:18-19. What does this teach us about Jesus’ mission on earth? How does this relate to Matthew 1:21-23?
  • Think back over the life of Jesus. What are some of the practical ways Jesus served people’s immediate needs?


A King Who Serves!

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.

The passage above is Luke’s account of Jesus reading from the Old Testament in the synagogue of His hometown.  It is from Isaiah 61 and is so image-driven that when you read it with a little “Kids Church” knowledge, you can easily visualize a day in the life of Jesus.  You are able to see Him among the people, blessing them, touching them, caring for them, and sharing true hope. It was by serving so many that Jesus became…

 A King Who SAVES!!!

It has often been pointed out that there was no room for Jesus in Bethlehem so His first night in this world was spent in a barn.  Have you ever given your life to Christ? Have you ever let go of your hopes, dreams, and expectations in order to make room for Jesus?  You may say, “I couldn’t do that!”  But, what if the Father’s heart for you is beyond anything you could possibly imagine?  Such a hope could empower you to give everything for Christ and then learn what it really means to stand up for someone else by serving them as Jesus would.

  • Think back over the life of Jesus. What are some of the practical ways Jesus served people’s immediate needs?
  • What are some of the immediate needs in your community? How could you practically serve them this Christmas?
  • Do you think that just meeting immediate needs without addressing the spiritual need is an adequate way to serve as a Christian? Why or why not?
  • What are some of the ultimate spiritual needs of your community? How can you practically serve them?