1. Read verses 1-3. Who was Caesar Augustus? What was the probable purpose of this decree? How did it affect the Roman world? (What was the extent of the Roman Empire at that time?) What do you know about "Roman Peace"?
2. Read verses 4-5. How did this decree effect Mary and Joseph? What does this suggest about those times? Why did they go to Bethlehem? What does this show about them? Why was this important?
3. Read verses 6-7. Describe the circumstances of Jesus' birth. What does the phrase, "there was no room for them in the inn" suggest about that society? About the powerlessness of Joseph and Mary?
4. How is God's sovereignty over history revealed? Compare and contrast the baby in the manger with Caesar Augustus. What can you learn here about God's history and human history?
5. Read verses 8-9. Who were the first ones to learn about Jesus' birth? What was their reaction? Why might God send this news to such men? Read verses 10-11. Look at the angel's message. What is the good news? Why “to all people”? What does it mean that the baby in the manger is Christ the Lord?
6. Read verse 12. What was the sign God gave the shepherds? Why do you think God used this kind of sign? How can one see God's history in such an ordinary scene?
7. Read verses 13-14. What did the choir of angels add to the meaning of Jesus' birth? Think about why Jesus' birth is glory to God in the highest. Think about why Jesus' birth in the manger gives peace to men. What does “on whom his favor rests” mean?