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November 29, 2019

Sermon Discussion Questions: How to Receive the Good News

Jason Meyer

Pastor for Preaching & Vision

The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon on December 1, “How to Receive the Good News” (Luke 1:26–56). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups or for personal reflection.

This message gives an overview concerning how to receive the Good News because it comes first as a staggering shock to those who hear it.


  1. Skepticism (“How can these things be?”)
  2. Submission (“May it be to me according to your word.”)
  3. Identification (The work of the Holy Spirit)
  4. Celebration (“My soul magnifies the Lord”)

Discussion Questions

  • What is the structure of Luke 1:26–56? Can you see the four movements of the text?
  • How is the response of Zechariah different from the response of Mary? (See Luke 1:18–20 and 1:26–38.)
  • In Luke 1:46–55, what is the structure of Mary’s poem of praise? How does this structure show that we are not supposed to elevate Mary above all other believers?
  • Why can people receive the Good News today even though an angel never visits them? How does the story itself show the answer in Luke 1:39–45?

Application Questions

  • In terms of the four movements of the text, where are you today? How can you take the next step toward the next movement?
  • How does Luke 1:26–56 guide us to be patient with people when they are skeptical and have questions? How does Luke 1:46–55 guide us in terms of how we should pray for people to know Jesus as Lord? Who are the people in your life who have questions or need to know the Lord that you can evangelize this Christmas?
  • What part of Mary’s poem of praise stands out to you? Are there attributes of God that shine especially bright for you this Christmas? What would it look like to grow in giving thanks for these attributes?

Prayer Focus
Pray for a grace to receive the Good News in humble submission to the Word and in joyful celebration of all that Christ has done.