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Lesson 2 - Second Week

The Part Angels Played in the
Coming of the Messiah

Background Reading:                          Devotional Reading:
Isaiah 7:14-16; Matthew 1:23;                Matthew 1:18-25
2:13-15; 19-23; Luke 1:11-20;
1:26-38; 2:8-15

Central Verse

"And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His
name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was con-
ceived in the womb." Luke 2:21, KJV   


"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, He was named

Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He was conceived." Luke 2:21, NIV


Key Terms
Virgin — a person who has not had sexual intercourse: a chaste young woman.
Barren — not reproducing incapable of producing offspring.
Overshadowed — to cast a shadow over, to overshade.

Introduction

God always has a plan for humankind because of His great love that He has for us. We know that He used angels as His messengers many times, but He also used His prophets to do His bidding. In the book of Isaiah 7:14, God spoke through His prophet with an announcement of His Son's coming 700 years before His birth. Isaiah prophesied that a virgin-born child would be called "Im­manuel," a Hebrew name meaning "God with us."

Matthew's gospel was written for Jewish believers. He let them know that the prophecies and promises the prophets had given them about the long-awaited Messiah were being fulfilled by tracing Jesus' lineage. The Jewish community had long awaited the promised child, for they were told that He would come and bring them deliverance.

Discussion

Even after Matthew presented Jesus as the fulfillment of Israel's prophetic hope, they rejected Him. But the angels let the world know that Jesus did not come just to the Jews, for they said, "let earth receive their King."

The angel of the Lord came to the virgin Mary and told her that she was "high­ly favored, and that the Lord was with her, and that she was blessed among women." Mary was a humble and godly young woman, and God had chosen her to bear His son. The angel spoke to Mary and caused her much distress because she didn't understand being pregnant without being married. God is so concerned about a young maiden Mary's personal feelings that He sent an angel to explain things to her.

Mary was chosen because she found favor with God. Her blessing from God brought her great joy, but it also brought her much suffering and much pain. Believers often forget that some of God's blessings bring sorrow, sadness, and disappointments, along with joy and success. He explained that the Holy Ghost (the Spirt of God) would come upon her and overshadow her, and the Holy Ghost would plant the baby in her womb, and He would be the called Son of God.

The angel of the Lord told Mary about her aged cousin, who was barren but is now pregnant in her sixth month. The angel let Mary know that God had given Elisabeth a supernatural pregnancy also. The news was so great that Mary, a humble and devout young woman, accepted the will of God for her life even though she didn't understand all of it. Mary submitted herself entirely to God's will and trusted the message that God's angel brought her. God knew that Mary would have many times of uncertainties, times of fear, and questions in her spirit. Therefore, He made it possible for Mary to spend time with her cousin, a seasoned woman of wisdom. Mary spent three months with Elisabeth and shared many things. As Mary's baby grew, so did Elisabeth's son.

By the time Mary returned home, it was known to Joseph that she was with child. While Mary was with Elisabeth, God sent the angel to speak to Joseph. Joseph was a good man, but he knew he had not been with Mary intimately. Yet, Mary was with child. Instead of bringing a reproach upon Mary, Joseph decided that he would not make her a public example. Joseph would private­ly put Mary out of harm's way. As Joseph made plans, the angel of the Lord visited him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to marry her. Mary had not deceived Joseph. God had sent the Holy Ghost upon Mary. The angel let Jo­seph know that Mary was in the plan of God's redemption for His people. Mary would be the virgin that was prophesied about in the book of Isaiah. God knew the necessity of Joseph being reassured regarding his decision about Mary. Joseph must have been a special type of man for God to choose him to protect Mary and His Son. God is always concerned about the things that concern every believer. He doesn't want His children stressed about what the believer must do to be in His will.

A decree had come from Caesar Augustus for all the people in that part of the world to be taxed. It was nearing the time for Mary to give birth to Jesus, but Jo­seph could not leave her alone, so she traveled with him. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger because there was no room for them in the closest inn. The same night, shepherds were in the field with their sheep, and an angel appeared unto them and announced Jesus' birth. A multitude of angels appeared and sang praises to the shepherds. The shepherds were able to go, in the angels' direction, to visit the newborn baby.


Conclusion


After the wise men had visited Jesus and brought their gifts, they were warned by angels not to return to Herod but go home another way, which they did. The angel came back to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to take Mary and Jesus into Egypt to protect them from Herod, who was seeking to kill him. But when Herod died, the angel of the Lord came back to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to return to the land of Israel and settle in Nazareth. God will not allow the enemy to destroy you if you listen to His instruction and obey Him.

Questions

What did Mary find out about the Holy Ghost's part in her assignment?
Why did Mary need the assurance of the angel?

Essential Thought-  "God will allow ministering angels to come and give your life direction if you will trust and obey Him."