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The text for this lesson is Matthew 1:18–25

Key Point

  • Just as the angel proclaimed to Joseph that Mary would bear an infant who is the Son of God, the Savior, so God proclaims to us in His Word that this same Jesus is our Savior from sin and death.
  • Law: Relying on my own eyes and senses, I trust what is false instead of trusting that Christ is God’s Son, my Savior.
  • Gospel: God’s Word gives me the truth that Jesus is
    Immanuel, God with me, my Savior.

Discussion Points

  1. Have you ever heard or observed a situation in which an acquaintance, friend, or family member appeared to have done something wrong, only to find out later that you misunderstood the situation? What warning does God give us about such assumptions in His Commandments?
  2. Read Deuteronomy 22:23–24. What could Joseph have done to Mary, according to the law? How does his justice coincide with mercy?
  3. Does the angel’s explanation for Mary’s pregnancy make sense apart from faith? Does hearing this reason by itself make Joseph any more comfortable with or pleased by this situation? What does give Joseph comfort in the midst of this situation?
  4. Compare the announcement made by the angel to the prophecy quoted by Matthew. What is most noticeably different about them? How does the name Jesus further explain the name Immanuel? Read Isaiah 59:15–21. How does this relate to the discussion about “God with us” and “Savior”?
  5. When Joseph woke from his sleep, what did he do?
  6. Before the visit from the angel, Joseph was considering Mary’s pregnancy and his options for divorce. The angel’s message nullified all of his presuppositions and previous considerations so that God’s plan of salvation would be carried out. What does this teach us about God’s plan for us in the face of difficult decisions and situations? Where do we go to hear the Word of God and the assurance that He is working out His salvation for us?
  7. Jesus is the name God gives Himself. Revelation 14:1 and 22:4 say that God’s name is marked on the foreheads of the faithful. When does God give us His name?

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