Title and Topic
Advent 3: What Mary Teaches us About Discipleship Today: The Call of Mary
Transformation and Witness
As little as we knew about Joseph, we know so much more about the life and discipleship of Mary. Mary balances motherhood with discipleship in a way that should fill us with awe. Not only in the preparation for birth, the uncertainty of the birth, but also in his young life and in His death. Mary is one of those parents that has to suffer terribly through the death of her own son. What does suffering have to do with discipleship?
However, today, we focus less on her motherhood and more on her call to ministry. Through this calling we discover in Mary a beautiful blessing of discipleship. Specifically she, as all disciples must, gives God her availability and is obedient even though she doesn’t understand fully the larger realm of her situation. Who could possibly forget her words: “May it be to you Lord, as you have said.”
1. Constant Takeaway: People would know that Discipleship is learning to love, look and live more like Jesus.
Psalm 25:1-9 (L)
Jeremiah 33:14-16 The Prophecy
Luke 1:26-38 The Call of Mary
C.S. Lewis writes, “Just as every natural event exhibits the total character of the natural universe at a particular point and space of time; so every miracle exhibits the character of the Incarnation” – “The Grand Miracle” in God in the Dock.
How do miracles demonstrate the character of the incarnation? What does the miraculous say about the essence of Christianity? How could miracles serve as an apologetic for the Christian faith?
Read Luke 1:26-38
1. What does Gabriel’s greeting of God’s “favor” imply about every believer’s call to discipleship? (28, 30).
2. What does the angel’s announcement reveal about Mary’s child? (1:31-33)
3. Discuss the significance of David’s throne as it relates to the birth of Jesus (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16; Jeremiah 33:14-16).
4. What does Mary’s virgin conception teach about the nature of Jesus (34-35)? How central is doctrine of the virgin birth to the message of the gospel and what Christ came to do? (See Galatians 4:4-5; Hebrews 2:17, 4:15; Luke 2:1; Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:9)
5. How do the miraculous conceptions of both Mary and Elizabeth demonstrate the nature of God’s salvation (36-37)?
6. Summarize the essence of Mary’s response in your own words (38).
7. What do you think Mary’s humble obedience cost her? What blessings does she receive?
8. How has your recent obedience to God’s word both cost you and blessed you?
9. What do you learn from Mary’s call and response about what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?
C. S. Lewis’ friend and editor, Walter Hooper called Lewis “the most thoroughly converted man I ever met.”
How has the miracle of the incarnation—God becoming man—thoroughly changed your life? What difference will the truths of the incarnation make in the way you approach the mission God has called you to?