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: Luke 2:4-19
- What title used by or for a person most garners your attention?
- What do the titles used to introduce Jesus to the shepherds in Luke 2:11 reveal about His role?
Food for thought:
Sir. Lord. Esquire. Doctor. All are titles we may hear from time to time. Understanding the title may be just as important as the title itself. Imagine a person sitting in the stands at a sporting event when a player goes down. They know the person sitting a few rows over is called Dr. Jones, so they encourage him to go check on the player. Dr. Jones does not act, leaving the person confused and a little upset at the good doctor. The problem is Dr. Jones is not a medical doctor, but instead studied education and teaches at a local college. How we understand the title matters.
When the angel addressed the shepherd in celebration of Jesus’ birth, the angel presented three titles to identify the baby who had just arrived. The angel called this child Savior, Lord and depending on your translation, Messiah or Christ. Savior points to a deliverer, one who rescues someone in distress. Jesus would deliver from sin all who believe in Him, and that deliverance would be eternal. The title Messiah referred to the anointed one that God had promised would one day deliver Israel from oppressors. Jesus was this promised One. The title Lord is the translation of the word Yahweh, the primary name for God used in the Hebrew Old Testament. Luke is the only Gospel that groups together all three titles.
Just one of these titles would have brought excitement to the shepherds, but all three grouped together would have been overwhelming. These titles and their meaning compelled the shepherds to find this child wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. These titles should drive us to seek out Jesus as well. He is the One who can deliver us from our sin and the judgment we deserve because of that sin. He is the One who will bring peace to His creation. He is the One who rules this earth. These titles should change the way we celebrate Christmas. Believers should celebrate their deliverance from sin, the reality of their eternal home and Jesus’ rule over His creation. All of these relate to God’s redemption of His creation. Unto us is born a Savior, Messiah the Lord!
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.