Why do you think Mary and Zechariah are compared in Luke 1? What is Luke trying to highlight in each of them through the comparison?
What would it have cost Mary to have welcomed the plan of God for her life described by the angel in Luke 1:35-37? What reasons would she have had to reject or despise God’s plan for her life?
Describe a situation where your plan for your life went sideways and you were thrust into trusting God’s plans instead. How did you feel about it? What questions did you ask about God in that situation? Looking back on that situation, do you have a different perspective now than you did at the time it was happening to you?
How have you experienced suffering in your life? Past or present?
Read Genesis 1:26-30. This passage describes God’s original call on humanity to rule over all aspects of creation. Being made in the image of God means being rulers over all areas of life (arts, agriculture, academics, etc). What areas of life are you looking forward to experiencing in the fullness of resurrected life, and why?
How does knowing what lies ahead change how you approach suffering?
If people disagree about the meaning of a passage of Scripture, how do you determine who is right? Does it matter? Is there a “right” answer?
How do you reason through a passage of Scripture that is hotly debated among scholars and teachers? How do you know to whom you should listen? What kinds of reasons do you find especially compelling in these kinds of debates?
Read Genesis 3:8-12. Who does Adam blame for his sin? Why?
Why do you think Paul raises the question in Romans 7:7? Why would someone conclude from what Paul has just written that God’s Law was a bad thing?
Read Romans 7:7-8. Can you recall any experiences you have had where you were given a rule to follow (or gave a rule for others to follow) and the presence of the rule made you want to break that very rule? Why does this happen to us?