Since The Story was first published, hundreds of thousands of people have experienced God’s great love affair with humanity through this accessible, chronologically arranged bestselling Bible. This week’s Bible study is taken from The Story of Jesus, a seven-week exploration into the life and ministry of Jesus that is adapted from the original The Story curriculum and also includes the full text of The Story book as it relates to Jesus, from his birth to the beginning of the church. The Story of Jesus study guide is designed for use with The Story of Jesus video, featuring the compelling teaching of pastor and author Randy Frazee. As you prepare your heart for the Christmas season, we hope you enjoy this free first session from The Story of Jesus.
The Birth of the King
The journey can be adventurous, and we should enjoy it. But let’s be honest, there is something nice about finally arriving!
Watch the Video
Video Teaching Notes: The Birth of the King
As you watch the video segment for session 1, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
I. Lower Story: scandalous beginnings
II. Upper Story: God’s solution to our scandalous beginning
III. God coming down to bring us back to himself
IV. The fulfillment of many prophecies
Video Discussion: The Birth of the King
1. The Story began in Genesis 1-3, and the Jews in Jesus’ day had read and heard it over and over throughout their lives. What would have come to their minds when the story of Jesus (the solution to all our problems) began with the same words that started The Story, back before there was any sin in the world?
2. Various titles and descriptions of Jesus are included in his story (John 1:1-14). Pick one of the following and explain what you think it means and how you have experienced this to be true of Jesus:
- Jesus: The Word
- Jesus: Is God
- Jesus: The Maker of all things
- Jesus: The Life
- Jesus: The Light
- Jesus: The one and only Son
- Jesus: The one who brings grace and truth
3. God spoke to both Mary and Joseph through angels (Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:19-24). What was the angel’s message and how did Mary and Joseph respond to this heavenly messenger?
Jesus’ birth is not the result of a scandal … but a solution to our scandal—our sins
4. Pause to remember that Mary and Joseph were real people living in a real small town. How might Joseph’s family and the townspeople have responded when Mary turned up pregnant before the wedding day? How might they have reacted to the “An angel told me that God would make me pregnant, but Joseph and I are still virgins” story? Tell about a time that God called you to live for him or follow him in a way that others did not understand. How did you hold to your faith during this time?
5. Jesus was born of a virgin and was conceived without sin. Why does this matter? From the Lower Story it looked like this baby would be born in sin, but from the Upper Story we see that Jesus was born without sin.
6. In the Lower Story Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be counted in the census; it was a hard three-day journey for someone nine months pregnant. In the Upper Story God was getting them to Bethlehem because that is where the Messiah was to be born. Recall an event in your life that seemed inconvenient and unnecessary, only to later look back and realize God was doing something greater than you knew at the time.
7. After Jesus was born, the shepherds hurried off and told everyone what they had seen and heard. Share a brief testimony about a time you really saw or heard Jesus move in your life. How might you share this story (and others like it) outside your small group . . . with people who are not yet followers of Jesus?
8. Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). As you walk with Jesus your Savior, how does it help you to know that he is God and that he is with you… all the time?
In what situation do you need to be reminded that God is with you? How can we here at FaithGateway pray for you as you walk through this season of your life? Please leave your prayer requests on our blog – we would love to pray for you this week as we head into the Christmas season. (Please note all prayers on our blog are public).
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We hope you enjoyed this first session of The Story of Jesus small group Bible study by Randy Frazee. Through the seven video sessions, pastor and author Randy Frazee will open your eyes to The Lower Story, our story, which is actually many stories of men and women interacting with God in the daily course of life; and the Upper Story, God’s story, which is the tale of his great, overarching purpose that fits all the individual stories together like panels in one unified mural.
Frazee presents seven ten-minute teachings on how the story of Jesus intersects with the story of our modern day lives. Bestselling author Max Lucado also adds some introductory insights. The Story of Jesus Participant’s Guide includes DVD teaching notes, discussion questions, between-session personal experiences, helping you experience the joy that comes as you align your story with Jesus’. Sessions include: 1) The Birth of the King; 2) Jesus’ Ministry Begins; 3) No Ordinary Man; 4) Jesus, the Son of God; 5) The Hour of Darkness; 6) The Resurrection; 7) New Beginnings.