If you haven’t subscribed to Anne Ortlund’s Discipleship Tips of the Week, they really are very helpful. She sent this wonderful piece this week on ideas for your discipleship group at Christmas time:
If you’re studying Christmas lessons in your group, last week I suggested looking at Matthew 1:1-2:15, to see the Baby Jesus “born King of the Jews.”
Mark and John omit the Christmas story entirely: Mark because he’s showing Jesus as the Servant, and gets right into His serving. (The word “immediately” appears 42 times.) John, writing decades later than the other three, looks from a huge perspective, showing Jesus as the Son of God, and beginning even before Genesis 1:1, with the pre-creation Christ!
But Doctor Luke shows Him as the “Son of Man,” with His birth and babyhood, His boyhood, His humanness.
(Matthew emphasizes what Jesus said; Mark, what He did; Luke, what He felt; and John, Who He was.)
Luke’s first paragraph shows he’s a detail guy, so he includes what no one else writes about: 1:5-25, prediction of the birth of John the Baptist; 1:26-38, prediction of the birth of Jesus, 1:39-45, the two mothers-to-be’s get-together; 1:46-50, Mary’s song; 1:57-66, John the Baptist’s birth; 1:67-79, John’s father’s song; and 1:80, Jesus’ boyhood.
In your group read Luke 2:1-20 with new eyes. See it from the viewpoint of Caesar, of Joseph, of Mary, of the angels, of the shepherds, of God, and of you personally.
Have a time of prayer and thanksgiving.