In this lesson, we will learn about Gabriel visiting Mary and the reactions of those around her from Luke 1:26–38. This lesson relates to pre-teens and teens, and by the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- Nothing is impossible for God
- God knows our future
- Be quick to obey
BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 1 and Matthew 1
MEMORY VERSE: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
In Luke 1:26-38 we read of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her that she will give birth to the Son of God. This event is known as the Annunciation. Mary is a young woman of Nazareth, engaged to Joseph.
Mary is confused by this news, as she is a virgin, but the angel tells her not to be afraid, for nothing is impossible with God.
Joseph, her fiancée, is later told by an angel in a dream that God has favoured Mary and that he should take her as his wife. Joseph obeys.
Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant with John the Baptist in her old age. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leapt for joy. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
KEY POINTS FROM THE PASSAGE
1. GOD KNOWS OUR FUTURE (Luke 1:26-33)
Mary was a young girl chosen by God. She was most likely carrying out her daily duties when Gabriel appeared to her. She might have been planning and thinking about her married life with Joseph. Parents typically arranged marriage in the days of Mary and Joseph. It would have seemed to Mary that her life was planned out, and she knew what was ahead.
But then Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she would give birth to the son of God. This event changed her life forever. Everything she thought was changed in a moment.
God alone knows our future. This is a hard truth to accept, but it is a truth, nonetheless. We can make plans and set goals, but ultimately God is in control. He knows what is best for us, even when we don’t.
The news was both wonderful and frightening for Mary. She was thrilled to be chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, but she was also terrified of what would happen when her pregnancy was revealed. Would Joseph believe her? Would they be able to make it through this?
When it comes to our future, it can be both comforting and daunting to know that God is ultimately in control. Comforting because we understand that no matter what happens, God is in control. Daunting, because we need to trust Him and His purposes. But whether we can see it or not, we can trust that God is working for our good. Even when things seem complicated, God is there with us, guiding us through.
2. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD (Luke 1:34-38)
When Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her about the birth of Jesus, Mary asks how this can be. Gabriel reassures her that nothing is impossible for God.
We must also learn that nothing is impossible for God. We see examples of God’s power throughout the Bible. He parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape from the Egyptians. He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. He raised Lazarus from the dead. God’s power is not just a thing of the past, though. He is still working in impossible situations.
If you are facing something that seems impossible, remember that nothing is impossible for God. Trust in His power and goodness. When we trust in God, we can have faith that He will work everything out for our good.
3. SLOW TO REACT AND QUICK TO OBEY (Matthew 1:18-25)
As soon as Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant, he was conflicted. He likely felt a range of emotions. Maybe angry, hurt, disappointed, and embarrassed of what others would think.
But he didn’t respond quickly with emotion but took time to consider the situation. He was unwilling to disgrace Mary publicly, so he decided to divorce her quietly. He knew the law but chose mercy.
Then after Joseph had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son; you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
God had a plan and a purpose for Joseph and Mary. Joseph awakes from sleep a new man. Verse 24 says, “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.” Three times we read in the Bible, Joseph gets up and does exactly what he’s been told to do. We never read a word Joseph spoke, but His actions speak louder than words.
Joseph is quick to trust and obey. When it comes to our relationship with God, it is so important that we are quick to trust and obey Him. It can be easy to second-guess God’s plan for our lives, but we must remember that He knows what is best for us. His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always good.
Joseph set us a great example of hearing from God and acting in obedience.
4. NOT TOO IMPORTANT TO SERVE (Luke 1:39-56)
Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth after hearing that Elizabeth is pregnant in her old age. Mary is pregnant with Jesus at the time. When Elizabeth greets Mary, the baby (John) in her womb leaps for joy. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesies over Mary and her baby, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” This encounter would have been significant for both Mary and Elizabeth.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months. During that time, Elizabeth’s baby, John, was born. Mary was probably helping Elizabeth with the daily chores as she struggled with pregnancy in her old age. Mary was going to give birth to the Son of God, the Saviour of the World. She was most blessed among women, and yet, she still served.
We see in Luke 1:6, that Elizabeth was a godly woman. This was most likely another reason for Mary’s visit. Mary was facing something huge, and so she sought a mature, godly council.
When making decisions affecting our lives, seeking the council of mature believers is essential. They can share godly wisdom and perspective that we may not have access to otherwise. Their prayers and support can also be a great source of strength and comfort.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE ANNUNCIATION
CONTINUE THE MESSAGE
- To start, one player will start by writing a message on their piece of paper. The message can be anything, but it should be something that can be easily understood by the other players.
- Once the message is written, the player will fold the paper so that only the message is showing and pass it to the player on their left.
- The next player will then read the message and try to write down the next part of the message.
- They will then fold their paper so that only their message is showing and pass it to the player on left.
- This continues until the paper is back at the original player.
- That player then reads out the whole note, by which time it should be funny to read.
WHO WOULD YOU VISIT
- Mary hurried to see Elizabeth after the angel’s visit.
- In this activity, the player will decide who they would visit in different situations.
- You could limit the selection to other people in the group.
- For example. Someone to help with maths homework. Someone to sing a song for you. Someone to bake a cake.
- If using in a group, try to match the number of situations to the number of people, so that everyone is chosen for a task.
ACTS OF SERVICE
- There are lots of opportunities for youth groups to volunteer their time to help those in need.
- Service projects can include everything from collecting food for the local food bank to painting a fence for a neighbour, mentoring program, or something else. No matter what the project is, it’s a chance for youth to come together and make a positive impact. Talk about the importance of serving others (Galatians 5:13–14).