When you think of the Christmas story, you know all of the major characters. You think, “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and some farm animals. I got it!” However, there are some minor characters in this major story. Each of these individuals is like the wheel of a ship or the rudder beneath the water. They may seem small, but they help move the story forward in a big way. Each plays a powerful role in the story of Jesus coming to Earth 2000 years ago and also teaches us valuable life-lessons for today.
Here is how this free Bible Study on the Background Characters of Christians breaks down:
Part 1: John the Baptist
Scholars consider John the Baptist to be the “front-runner” of Christ. Like a Christmas caroler singing on the street corner, John got to proudly pronounce the coming Messiah. Ultimately, it was John’s job to pave the way for Jesus. That’s why Luke recounts John’s birth before the nativity scene. John set the stage for the savior.
Scripture: Luke 1:80
Part 2: The Innkeeper
Pregnant Mary and Joseph begged the innkeeper for a place to stay, but he insisted there was no room for them. The front desk manager had no idea that he was missing a miracle. Jesus, the son of God, could have been born in his hotel. Can you imagine the advertising campaigns he could have run? “Miracle Child born here!” “Stay in the Savior suite!” Instead, he just sent them away into a stable surrounded by cows and sheep.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
Part 3: King Herod
Herod was a dictator who conquered the people of Israel by force. While sitting on his golden throne, Herod heard reports of Jewish prophecies that claimed, “O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come a ruler who will shepherd Israel” (Matt 2:5-6). Herod’s fear led him to a fanatical decision. He demanded that all of the baby boys in the country be murdered (Matt 2:16). King Herod tried to stop the first Christmas because he didn’t want a new king threatening his control.
Scripture: Matthew 2:13
Part 4: Simeon and Anna
Why don’t more people know the powerful story of Anna and Simeon? Think of this moment like a post-credit scene of a Marvel movie. We tend to stop the story at the angels singing and shepherds bowing. If you leave the theater too soon, you will miss out on this powerful encounter. Simeon and Anna had spent their whole lives waiting on God’s promise to unfold, and now they were experiencing it first hand.
Scripture: Luke 2:25-34
This Free Bible Study on the Background Characters of Christmas includes:
–4-part small group guide (intended for stand-alone small groups)
–Graphics to reinforce this content on social media
–Bonus 5-day devotional on the Wise Men and the gifts they gave
You might also like these free Christmas social media graphics or this bundle of our favorite Christmas resources for your church!