Welcome to this week’s Bible Study!. This week we are studying the Baby Jesus and his birth and how his birth changed the world then and now. We also look at the conflict between an earthly kingdom and the Kingdom of God that came with the birth of the Baby Jesus. Please read this week’s handout and Matthew Chapters 1 and 2 for help in answering the questions below. Let us now “meet Jesus again, for the first time!”
Matthew 1:1
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
In the above Scripture, Jesus was called the “son of David.” What does the term Son of David mean and how did it prove that Jesus was the Messiah?
Matthew 1:20
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
In the above verse, Joseph is called “son of David” which is the same title given to Jesus in Verse 1. Why do you think Joseph was called the son of David?
Matthew 1:1-25 is said to show the human and divine heritage of Jesus. If Matthew 1:1-17 shows the human heritage of Jesus, how does Matthew 1:18-25 show the divine heritage of Jesus the Christ?
Matthew 2:1
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magia from the east came to Jerusalem
What does the word Magi mean? How many were there? The handout says three wise men and nativity plays show three but what does Scripture say?
Was Jesus still a baby when the Magi or wise men came to see him? How old do you think he was when the wise men brought their gifts to him?
The handout says Jesus was 40 days old when he was taken to the Temple for the first time. If you were the CSI (Christ Scene Investigator) of those days what evidence in the Bible would you use to prove Jesus was 40 days old then?
Matthew 2:13
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
The above Scripture shows the obedience of Joseph and God’s plan to protect His only begotten Son. Using your CSI hat again, how would you prove how old Jesus was when his parents took him to Egypt to escape the murderous wrath of King Herod? Where do you find your proof?
Matthew 2:1-3
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magia from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the eastb and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
In the handout I write about the “Clash of the Titans!” and how there was “Only Room for One King at a Time!” In the above Scripture the Magi called Jesus the “King of Jews” and this upset King Herod. This was the first notice in the New Testament that Jesus represented the coming of the Kingdom of God. Why do you think King Herod was upset about the birth of Jesus and why did he think it was a threat to his kingdom?
Matthew 2:19-3:2
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 3:1-2
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
The above Scriptures support what is written in the handout about Jesus’ birth signaling the coming of the Kingdom of God. But in Matthew 3:2 some 28 years later John the Baptist declares coming of Jesus meant “the kingdom of heaven is near.” Yet in Mark 1:15 when Jesus was also speaking about his coming he declares that “The kingdom of God is near.” What do you think kingdom of heaven means and is it different from kingdom of God?
Rites of Passage. The handout teaches about some of the Rites of Passage that Jewish boys during Jesus’ time went through. What were some of the rites Jesus probably passed through as boy until age 13? The handout makes it clear that Jesus probably went to school. If the Son of God went to school, what does that say about the importance of going to school for today’s youth?
The handout says that when a Jewish boy reached a certain age he received his phylacteries. What was a phylactery? Why were they so important?