Mary and Joseph: The Journey to Bethlehem

Written by TruthMedia

In one of the most familiar stories of Christmas, we find a young man making a journey to the town of his ancestors, accompanied by his very pregnant wife. It was not a chosen journey, but rather one which the occupying government had commanded. As we near the Christmas season this year, join us in a fresh look at this familiar story of Joseph, Mary and a journey to Bethlehem. (If you’d like to read it on your own, you’ll find it in Luke 2:1-7. Additional background material is found in Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:18-25.)

1. What was unusual about Mary’s pregnancy? How did Mary find out she would soon bear a child? (See Luke 1:26-38.)
2. What message did Joseph receive about Mary’s pregnancy? From whom? How did he then respond? (See Matthew 1:18-25.) More thoughts...
How might a young man have responded to the pregnancy of his intended bride, considering the customs of the day?
3. As a couple nears the birth of their first child, what type of preparations might they make?
4. Imagine Mary and Joseph. They know that this child is special. They’ve each seen an angel, and have been informed that this is God’s work. Suddenly they receive word that they must leave their home to travel to Bethlehem for a census as ordered by the governor. How might you feel if you’d faced the same decree? More thoughts...
What questions might you ask God about this event, if it were your child to be born? Would you struggle with the timing?
5. What challenges did they face upon arrival in Bethlehem? Do you think they expected this son to be born in such surroundings?
6. We find no record of complaint or resistance on the part of Mary or Joseph. How might their understanding of God have influenced their response to a very unexpected and inconvenient journey?
7. Do you think there was a reason for the birth of Jesus to happen in Bethlehem?
8. Think of an area in your own life (past or present) when you faced demands from others that you could not control. How might your perspective change if you could see that God is not surprised by these events, and that He is working in those events for His own purposes?
9. What additional thoughts or questions do you have about this study?
10. Please pray for me in these areas:
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