Bible: Lk 1

Explanatory Preface

1:1 Now 1  many have undertaken to compile an account 2  of the things 3  that have been fulfilled 4  among us, 1:2 like the accounts 5  passed on 6  to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word 7  from the beginning. 8  1:3 So 9  it seemed good to me as well, 10  because I have followed 11  all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account 12  for you, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4 so that you may know for certain 13  the things you were taught. 14 

Birth Announcement of John the Baptist

1:5 During the reign 15  of Herod 16  king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to 17  the priestly division of Abijah, 18  and he had a wife named Elizabeth, 19  who was a descendant of Aaron. 20  1:6 They 21  were both righteous in the sight of God, following 22  all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 23  1:7 But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, 24  and they were both very old. 25 

1:8 Now 26  while Zechariah 27  was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 28  1:9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, 29  to enter 30  the holy place 31  of the Lord and burn incense. 1:10 Now 32  the whole crowd 33  of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 34  1:11 An 35  angel of the Lord, 36  standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared 37  to him. 1:12 And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, 38  was seized with fear. 39  1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, 40  and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you 41  will name him John. 42  1:14 Joy and gladness will come 43  to you, and many will rejoice at 44  his birth, 45  1:15 for he will be great in the sight of 46  the Lord. He 47  must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 48  1:16 He 49  will turn 50  many of the people 51  of Israel to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord 52  in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 53  to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

1:18 Zechariah 54  said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? 55  For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 56  1:19 The 57  angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands 58  in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring 59  you this good news. 1:20 And now, 60  because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, 61  you will be silent, unable to speak, 62  until the day these things take place.”

1:21 Now 63  the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder 64  why he was delayed in the holy place. 65  1:22 When 66  he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They 67  realized that he had seen a vision 68  in the holy place, 69  because 70  he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak. 71  1:23 When his time of service was over, 72  he went to his home.

1:24 After some time 73  his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, 74  and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. 75  She said, 76  1:25 This is what 77  the Lord has done for me at the time 78  when he has been gracious to me, 79  to take away my disgrace 80  among people.” 81 

Birth Announcement of Jesus the Messiah

1:26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 82  the angel Gabriel 83  was sent by 84  God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 85  1:27 to a virgin engaged 86  to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, 87  and the virgin’s name was Mary. 1:28 The 88  angel 89  came 90  to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, 91  the Lord is with you! 92  1:29 But 93  she was greatly troubled 94  by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. 95  1:30 So 96  the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, 97  Mary, for you have found favor 98  with God! 1:31 Listen: 99  You will become pregnant 100  and give birth to 101  a son, and you will name him 102  Jesus. 103  1:32 He 104  will be great, 105  and will be called the Son of the Most High, 106  and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father 107  David. 1:33 He 108  will reign over the house of Jacob 109  forever, and his kingdom will never end.” 1:34 Mary 110  said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with 111  a man? 1:35 The angel replied, 112 The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow 113  you. Therefore the child 114  to be born 115  will be holy; 116  he will be called the Son of God.

1:36And look, 117  your relative 118  Elizabeth has also become pregnant with 119  a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! 120  1:37 For nothing 121  will be impossible with God.” 1:38 So 122  Mary said, “Yes, 123  I am a servant 124  of the Lord; let this happen to me 125  according to your word.” 126  Then 127  the angel departed from her.

Mary and Elizabeth

1:39 In those days 128  Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 129  1:40 and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 1:41 When 130  Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped 131  in her 132  womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 133  1:42 She 134  exclaimed with a loud voice, 135 Blessed are you among women, 136  and blessed is the child 137  in your womb! 1:43 And who am I 138  that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? 1:44 For the instant 139  the sound of your greeting reached my ears, 140  the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 141  1:45 And blessed 142  is she who believed that 143  what was spoken to her by 144  the Lord would be fulfilled.” 145 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise

1:46 And Mary 146  said, 147 

“My soul exalts 148  the Lord, 149 

1:47 and my spirit has begun to rejoice 150  in God my Savior,

1:48 because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. 151 

For 152  from now on 153  all generations will call me blessed, 154 

1:49 because he who is mighty 155  has done great things for me, and holy is his name;

1:50 from 156  generation to generation he is merciful 157  to those who fear 158  him.

1:51 He has demonstrated power 159  with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance 160  of their hearts.

1:52 He has brought down the mighty 161  from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; 162 

1:53 he has filled the hungry with good things, 163  and has sent the rich away empty. 164 

1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering 165  his mercy, 166 

1:55 as he promised 167  to our ancestors, 168  to Abraham and to his descendants 169  forever.”

1:56 So 170  Mary stayed with Elizabeth 171  about three months 172  and then returned to her home.

The Birth of John

1:57 Now the time came 173  for Elizabeth to have her baby, 174  and she gave birth to a son. 1:58 Her 175  neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown 176  great mercy to her, and they rejoiced 177  with her.

1:59 On 178  the eighth day 179  they came to circumcise the child, and they wanted to name 180  him Zechariah after his father. 1:60 But 181  his mother replied, 182 No! He must be named 183  John.” 184  1:61 They 185  said to her, “But 186  none of your relatives bears this name.” 187  1:62 So 188  they made signs to the baby’s 189  father, 190  inquiring what he wanted to name his son. 191  1:63 He 192  asked for a writing tablet 193  and wrote, 194 His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 195  1:64 Immediately 196  Zechariah’s 197  mouth was opened and his tongue 198  released, 199  and he spoke, blessing God. 1:65 All 200  their neighbors were filled with fear, and throughout the entire hill country of Judea all these things were talked about. 1:66 All 201  who heard these things 202  kept them in their hearts, 203  saying, “What then will this child be?” 204  For the Lord’s hand 205  was indeed with him.

Zechariah’s Praise and Prediction

1:67 Then 206  his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, 207 

1:68Blessed 208  be the Lord God of Israel,

because he has come to help 209  and has redeemed 210  his people.

1:69 For 211  he has raised up 212  a horn of salvation 213  for us in the house of his servant David, 214 

1:70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago, 215 

1:71 that we should be saved 216  from our enemies, 217 

and from the hand of all who hate us.

1:72 He has done this 218  to show mercy 219  to our ancestors, 220 

and to remember his holy covenant 221 

1:73 the oath 222  that he swore to our ancestor 223  Abraham.

This oath grants 224 

1:74 that we, being rescued from the hand of our 225  enemies,

may serve him without fear, 226 

1:75 in holiness and righteousness 227  before him for as long as we live. 228 

1:76 And you, child, 229  will be called the prophet 230  of the Most High. 231 

For you will go before 232  the Lord to prepare his ways, 233 

1:77 to give his people knowledge of salvation 234  through the forgiveness 235  of their sins.

1:78 Because of 236  our God’s tender mercy 237 

the dawn 238  will break 239  upon us from on high

1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 240 

to guide our feet into the way 241  of peace.”

1:80 And the child kept growing 242  and becoming strong 243  in spirit, and he was in the wilderness 244  until the day he was revealed 245  to Israel.

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