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The Birth of Jesus: Luke 1-2
Luke-Acts Series
5:06
See how Jesus' birth into humble conditions and a family with low social status foreshadows the upside-down nature of Jesus’ Kingdom.

Reflect

Once you've watched the featured video, take time to reflect on these questions.

  1. What is one way this video encourages or expands your understanding of the Gospel of Luke?
  2. What is one way that Jesus’ Kingdom is unlike the kingdoms of this world?
  3. Consider your community. What needs to be turned upside-down to look more like God’s Kingdom?

Go Deeper

Luke investigated the eye witnesses of Jesus’ life to compose his Gospel account. The story begins in the hills of Jerusalem, where Israel’s ancient prophets said that God himself would come one day to establish his Kingdom on Earth. First, we meet a priest named Zacharias who sees a vision of an angel announcing that he and his wife will have a son. This is amazing because Zacharias and his wife are old and have never been able to have children. With this detail, Luke is setting up a parallel to compare their story with Abraham and Sarah, the great ancestors of Israel. They too were old and childless until God miraculously gave them a son, Isaac, through whom the whole story of Israel began.

Zacharias’ miraculous encounter tells us that God is about to do something significant to restart Israel’s story. But how will he do it? Luke tells us that the angel also visits a young girl named Mary to announce even more shocking news: Mary will give birth to the Messiah, God in the flesh! Her son will bring down rulers from their thrones and exalt the poor and humble. Through Mary’s womb, God himself is turning everything upside-down to establish his Kingdom and way of life over all the Earth.

Read: Luke 1:5-38

  1. Compare the experiences of Zacharias and Elizabeth with that of Abraham and Sarah. How do both couples struggle to trust God’s promises? How do they express trust? See Luke 1:5-25 and Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 16:1-4, Genesis 17:15-22, Genesis 18:9-15, and Genesis 21:1-7.
  2. How do Mary and Zacharias respond to the angel’s shocking news? Note the differences in their follow-up questions to the angel. Zacharias wants to know how he can be sure that it will happen, while Mary wants to know how it will happen. One is doubtful, and one is curious. What is your response to the announcement of God’s Kingdom?
  3. Compare Mary’s words (Luke 1:46-55) to Hannah’s words (1 Samuel 2:1-10). What do you notice? What is one specific quality of God’s Kingdom that you find described in these poetic verses? What would it practically look like to see more of that quality in your life and community?
  4. Take some time to pray for the humble nature of God’s Kingdom to shape your life and community. Be honest about your doubts, ask for renewed trust, and express your curiosity.
The Upside-Down Kingdom and the Early Church

In our Luke-Acts series, we explore the fascinating story of Jesus' life, ministry, and announcement of God's upside-down Kingdom. Luke emphasizes how Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures, setting the stage for the Jesus movement that would spread throughout the ancient world.

One Cohesive Gospel Account

Luke-Acts is just one of four books that recount the Gospel message. No other part of the Bible uses four different books to tell the same story. While it is true that the Gospel accounts all repeat the same basic story, each telling of the story is different. They are different not in the facts presented but in the perspective from which they are told. Luke-Acts gives us one of the most unified stories of Jesus' life, and it doesn't end there. It continues into the movement of people devoted to Jesus' way of love.

An Epic Climax

The four Gospel accounts fulfill the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament and lay the foundation for everything that is to come. You will find that Luke, like all the Gospel accounts, details the truths that serve as the basis for all Christianity, providing us with a comprehensive account of the life and teachings of the most important figure to ever walk the earth, Jesus of Nazareth.

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Luke-Acts
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Follow discussions between Tim and Jon as they prepare to write the scripts for our Luke-Acts series
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