Monday, October 19, 2009

Christmas: Learning from Jesus' Geneology (Matthew 1)

Talk about your best memory of your grandparents (or some older relative). What is a positive thing (tradition, character trait, etc.) that has been passed to you from previous generations of your family?

Why do you think some people are so proud of their family's heritage?
Why do you think some people aren't as proud of it?

As a group, read Matthew 1:1-17.

1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
15 Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

Which names in this list stand out?
What are some of the stories that come to mind as you think about these people?

Which of the characters in this list had a questionable past?
Talk about the darker side of some of these people.

Most of us aren't willing to talk about the "dirty laundry" in our family's past.
Why do you thank God wanted these people included in this list?

Read Genesis 12:1-3.

1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

How is Jesus the fulfillment of this promise?

The list of names in Matthew 1 begins with Abraham.
Look at how many generations passed before God fulfilled his promise to Abraham.
How does this list of names illustrate God's faithfulness?

Why is it so hard to wait on God sometimes?
When have you been forced to be patient because circumstances weren't what you wanted?
How did God work?...or are you still waiting?

What is an issue in your life right now that you need patience in dealing with?
How can the group help or pray for you in this?

Need another Christmas-based small group study? Try this one:
Are You Looking for a Sign? (The Star)

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