NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Matthew 1:18-25
Discussion Questions: What does your name mean to you? What do the names given to Christ at His earthly birth reveal about Him?
Food for Thought:
The name given to a child is important. If they are named after some relative or family friend, they live with the subtle expectation of carrying traits that defined that person. If they carry a family name passed down through generations, they are expected to build on the family heritage and reputations already established. For most of us, we spend at least some of our lives trying to live up to the name we were given. Doing so is not always a negative thing, especially if the name we carry garners high expectations.
The angel told Joseph to name the child Jesus. This was a common name given in that day. The Jews were looking for a promised savior that would save them from Roman domination. This Jesus would save them from something much greater: their sins. His name reveals what He came to do. Pointing to Isaiah 7:14, Matthew declared that the child would also be known as Immanuel. This name tells us how He would save us from our sins. The God of the universe, the Word who spoke creation into existence, became one of us so that He could deliver us from our sins. Our salvation is tied to His presence.
You and I are not capable of securing our own salvation. Even on our best day, we are not capable. The problem is you and I carry another name that we have exceeded in living up to. That name is sinner. It is through His presence, His righteousness, and His standing by us as our Advocate before the Father that our salvation is secure. This idea was so important to Matthew, he framed His Gospel account with the promise of God’s presence (Matthew 1:12 and 28:20). Immanuel — God with us!
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.