September 1, 2013
Focal Scripture Passage:
To lead students to contrast the results of believing God and doubting God,
and to encourage them to believe and trust God for their eternity and
for their daily life.
Read the notes on Luke 1 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.
Gather some proof of purchase symbols from various products, some store
receipts, and a written guarantee or warranty from some product. Bring
these items to class. Write the words “Proof”
and “Guarantee” on the
marker board or chalkboard. Make copies of the group assignments as needed
(see step 2 below).
(Create Learning Readiness): Show
the proof of purchase symbols to the class and ask them what they are. Ask
why they might need them. Do the same with the store receipts. Show the
written guarantee and ask why they might need a written guarantee (to hold
the manufacturer accountable in case a product is defective).
Ask: “Why do we need written proofs and
guarantees, rather than just trusting everyone to be honest?” (because
many people are not honest and cannot be trusted). Tell the class that
unlike dishonest humans, God can always be trusted. We can believe
whatever He says, but we often doubt God.
Tell them today’s lesson is about two people
– one who believed God and another who doubted Him. We will also learn
about the results of their belief or doubt.
HEART OF THE LESSON
Introduce the Gospel of
Read Luke 1:1-4.
Briefly introduce the Gospel of Luke using the following outline:
Luke was a Gentile who came to
faith in Jesus Christ.
He was a physician and he
traveled extensively with the Apostle Paul.
He wrote his gospel in about
a.d. 60 (less than 30 years
after the death and resurrection of Jesus) to a Roman official named
Luke also wrote the book of
Tell the class they will spend the next six months studying the
Gospel of Luke.
Create Study Groups.
Divide the class into two groups and give the groups the assignments
If you are uncomfortable using groups, consider asking the students
to pair up with the person sitting beside them (be sure any guests are
paired with strong class members). Give half the pairs the Group One
assignment and the remaining pairs the Group Two assignment.
Another alternative to group work is to lead the entire class to work
through both group assignments together.
Give the groups about 5-7 minutes to do their work.
While they are working, erase the board and draw a vertical line down
the center to create two columns. Write the words “Belief”
and “Doubt” as headings
of the two columns.
Zacharias – Belief or Doubt?
Regain the attention of the
Ask a volunteer from Group One
to read Luke 1:5-12.
Ask the group to answer the
first question (“Who did the angel talk to?” – Zacharias).
Ask: “Who was Zacharias and
what was he doing?” (he was a priest who was old and childless; he was
burning incense in the Temple in Jerusalem – locate Jerusalem on the
Ask another volunteer to read
Ask them to answer the second
question (Did Zacharias believe the angel’s promise or doubt it? – he
Stress the fact that John was
the promised forerunner of the Messiah (see Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6; Luke 1:76-77).
Ask a third volunteer to read
Ask the group to answer the
third question (What happened to him
as a result of his belief or doubt? – he was unable to speak for nine
Read Luke 1:21-25.
Ask the entire class: “Did
the angel’s promise come true; did Elisabeth actually become pregnant?”
Mary – Belief or Doubt?
Ask a volunteer from Group Two to read Luke 1:26-30.
Ask the group to answer the first question (Who did the angel talk
to? – Mary).
Ask: “Who was Mary and what was her situation in life?” (she a
young virgin girl living in Nazareth – locate Nazareth on the
map; she was espoused to a
man who was descended from King David).
Ask another volunteer to read Luke 1:31-38.
Ask them to answer the second question (Did Mary believe the angel’s
promise or doubt it? – she questioned it at first but then accepted and
Stress the fact that Mary was a virgin (verse 27, 34-35).
Explain the following:
The Greek word translated
virgin literally means “a
marriageable maiden, a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man.”
This word occurs fourteen
times in the New Testament and every time it is translated virgin.
The virgin birth of Jesus
Christ is foundational to the Christian faith: if Jesus were not virgin-born
(having no earthly father) then He could not possibly be God. If He was not
God in human flesh then He could not pay the penalty for our sin and save
Without the virgin birth
Christianity is a lie.
Ask a third volunteer to read Luke 1:39-45.
Ask the group to answer the third question (What happened to her as a
result of her belief or doubt? – she was blessed and given confirmation that
the angel’s promise would come true).
Ask: “What proof did the angel give Mary?” (he told her that
her old barren cousin was six months pregnant).
Mary Praised God, John was
Born, and Zacharias Regained his Speech.
Tell the class about the events described in the rest of the chapter:
Mary praised God (verses
Elisabeth gave birth to her
son, whom the couple named John in obedience to the angel’s instructions
After this Zacharias was again
able to speak. He praised God and revealed more about John’s mission
Zacharias no longer doubted God.
Direct the class’ attention to the words on the board. Ask: “Which
character doubted God?” (Zacharias). Ask: “What happened to him a
result of his doubt?” (he couldn’t speak for nine months). Ask: “Did
his doubt change what God promised to do?” (no).
Ask: “Which character believed God?”
(Mary). Ask: “What happened to her a result of her belief?” (she was
highly blessed and God gave confirmation to her faith).
Read Luke 1:37. Tell the class God
can be trusted with our eternity and with our daily needs.
Ask: “Do you believe what God say, or, like Zacharias, are you
waiting for some kind of proof?”
Remind the class that Jesus said “I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
me” (John 14:6), and “except
ye repent, ye shall … perish”
(Luke 13:3). Ask: “do you believe those statements?” Tell them if
they have never trusted Jesus Christ for salvation they should do so now.
Urge any who have never done so to repent of their sins and trust Jesus for
Tell the class the Lord also says “I
will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”
(Heb. 13:5) and “my God shall supply all your need according to his
riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Tell them we need to
believe God for our daily needs and trust Him in our daily problems.
Urge everyone to believe God without
doubting. Lead a closing prayer.
Ask everyone to memorize Luke 1:37. Tell them every time this week
they face the choice of believing God or doubting Him they should remember
Read Luke 1:5-23.
Who did the angel talk to?
Did he believe the angel’s
promise or doubt it?
What happened to him as a
result of his belief or doubt?
Read Luke 1:26-45.
Who did the angel talk to?
Did she believe the angel’s promise or doubt it?
What happened to her as a
result of her belief or doubt?