Family Jesse Tree Study – December 23
Welcome to our family Bible study focused on preparing our hearts for Christmas. The Jesse Tree is the family tree of Jesus (see Matthew 1 and Luke 3 for a complete genealogy of Jesus). All along its branches are men and women of God who have incredible stories to share and from which we can glean a deeper understanding of faith and build a stronger relationship with God. God orchestrated these people and stories for a reason — to point us to His Son Jesus who comes to save us once and for all.
For this study, we encourage you to read, reflect, and journal on these scriptures on your own and then find a good time with your family to do this devotion together. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a devotion, discussion question, and prayer taken from “Jesse Tree Family Devotions” by the Reformed Church in America, then below that is a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. For printable ornaments to make your own Jesse Tree, see: http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/jessepatterns.pdf. If you’re doing this study with smaller kids, consider using a children’s Bible to share the stories, or use the shorter version of the scripture provided in parentheses. For older kids, consider introducing them to the SOAP method of journaling through this study.
We hope you join us in this study, and please share how it’s going, your favorite Christmas traditions, and prayer requests in the Comments section on our website.
Matthew 1:18-25 – Joseph
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Yesterday we talked about Jesus’ mother, Mary. Jesus also had an earthly father named Joseph, who was a carpenter. God sent an angel to talk to Joseph in a dream. The angel explained that God had chosen Mary, and that Mary’s baby would be very special. When Joseph woke up, he knew that he and Mary were a part of God’s plan. Joseph knew that he would be a good father to Jesus.
Name some ways that God speaks to us.
God who calls us, help us to hear Your voice.
SOAP JOURNAL NOTE
Oh How He Speaks | Dyea Rowland
Seven hundred years ago God spoke to his prophet Isaiah, if you recall from our Isaiah reading (ch. 9). Here in our reading today, his words came true. God showed himself (the truth) to Joseph, in a dream; He had also sent a messenger to Mary. All that God speaks shows his magnificent power and how much love He has for us. He loves us so much that He sent his Son to be with us.
I wait patiently for Your messages. You’re so funny in these trying times: multiple car accidents, financial, illnesses, unemployment and all of the other ongoing uphill battles; I know You are with me. I get so excited when I feel defeated, and I look down and find a shiny dime, waiting there just for me to find – because You know I will. Or when I’m talking with a friend over coffee and there seems to be Your guiding synchronicity in our conversation. I love when You speak to me; I want more of that. Let me be more attuned to all the words You have to speak.
Father, turning 38 has been tough. I thought my “growing year” of 28 was brutal; boy, it has nothing on this year. Thank You for speaking to me and showing me that year was to prepare me for this year. I accept Your challenge and want to be grown and stretched to Your fullest. I trust Your ways are better. I know I get down and overwhelmed — to that point of feeling defeated, but I love how You speak in gentle ways that You are right there in the midst of it all. I trust You and know Your promises are true. Now, please help me to remember what I just prayed for, so there won’t be any more complaining (wink). I love You so much. In Jesus’ precious name…Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Posted on December 23, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Advent, Bible, Bible Study, Christmas, hardship, Jesse Tree, Jesus, joseph, Mary, Matthew, presence, provide, SOAP, speak. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.