Coastline Bible Church just started a brand new sermon series called: "Family Portraits." For the month of December we're studying the people who would have been closest to Jesus at the time of His birth. The thought is that we will see what the Bible teaches us about those who might have been in the birth, or early years, pictures of Jesus. We want to learn from these individuals on how they lived their lives, handled the news of Jesus, and their response. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions | Joseph-Obedience | Matthew 1:18-25
As we get days away from Christmas we continue studying the people who would have been most closely associated with Jesus as His birth. The next person we will study is Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. When we talk about Joseph as the father of Jesus it’s an interesting subject. We know that God is Jesus’ Father but God trusted Joseph to care for His son while on earth. God could have chosen any couple; any mother and father to rear Jesus but He choose Jospeh. The news that Mary was pregnant must have been devastating to Joseph but he handles it extraordinarily well. As we study Matthew 1 keep an eye out for Jospeh’s example of obedience to God.
1) Neal shared about Captain Baker flew strategic air command in the Vietnam war. During Captain Baker’s training he learned obedience to his role. Who or What has taught you the most about obedience in your life? What did you learn?
2) Read Matthew 1:18-19. In these verses we learn about the character of Jospeh. The law permitted him to stone her to death (Deuteronomy 22:22) but he choose a different route. Share about a time when God developed your character.
3) Joseph offered grace to Mary when he found out she was pregnant. Let’s study Grace more. Read: John 8:1-11, Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:8, and 2 Timothy 1:9. How is God working in your life to make you a more grace giving person?
4) God shows up in a powerful way (read Matthew 1:20-23). Can you think about a time when God changed your plans? It might not have happened because of an angelic visit in the night, but it is just as memorable for you.
5) It seems that in every angelic visit the first message is: Don’t be afraid. We are told to not be afraid when we are clearly afraid. Read Psalm 27:1, 34:4–5, Isaiah 41:13, and Luke 14:27. What fear do yo need to surrender to God today?
6) The angel tells Joseph to name the baby Jesus. In Hebrew culture, it was the father’s duty to name the child. This was a way of the father showing dominance or mastery over the child. How does this change how Jospeh and Jesus interact?
7) Joseph had a secret plan to leave Mary and now God has intervened (read Matthew 1:24-25). In keeping with his righteous character, Joseph is obedient. In what way(s) is God prompting you to increase your obedience to Him?
Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus.