Bible: Luke 1-3

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.

The Census and the Birth of Jesus

2:1 Now 246  in those days a decree 247  went out from Caesar 248  Augustus 249  to register 250  all the empire 251  for taxes. 2:2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor 252  of Syria. 2:3 Everyone 253  went to his own town 254  to be registered. 2:4 So 255  Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth 256  in Galilee to Judea, to the city 257  of David called Bethlehem, 258  because he was of the house 259  and family line 260  of David. 2:5 He went 261  to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, 262  and who was expecting a child. 2:6 While 263  they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 264  2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth 265  and laid him in a manger, 266  because there was no place for them in the inn. 267 

The Shepherds’ Visit

2:8 Now 268  there were shepherds 269  nearby 270  living out in the field, keeping guard 271  over their flock at night. 2:9 An 272  angel of the Lord 273  appeared to 274  them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 275  2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, 276  for I proclaim to you good news 277  that brings great joy to all the people: 2:11 Today 278  your Savior is born in the city 279  of David. 280  He is Christ 281  the Lord. 2:12 This 282  will be a sign 283  for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 284  2:13 Suddenly 285  a vast, heavenly army 286  appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

2:14Glory 287  to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among people 288  with whom he is pleased! 289 

2:15 When 290  the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem 291  and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord 292  has made known to us.” 2:16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 293  2:17 When 294  they saw him, 295  they related what they had been told 296  about this child, 2:18 and all who heard it were astonished 297  at what the shepherds said. 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 298  2:20 So 299  the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising 300  God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told. 301 

2:21 At 302  the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel 303  before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple

2:22 Now 304  when the time came for their 305  purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary 306  brought Jesus 307  up to Jerusalem 308  to present him to the Lord 2:23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male 309  will be set apart to the Lord 310 ), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves 311  or two young pigeons. 312 

The Prophecy of Simeon

2:25 Now 313  there was a man in Jerusalem 314  named Simeon who was righteous 315  and devout, looking for the restoration 316  of Israel, and the Holy Spirit 317  was upon him. 2:26 It 318  had been revealed 319  to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die 320  before 321  he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 322  2:27 So 323  Simeon, 324  directed by the Spirit, 325  came into the temple courts, 326  and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 327  2:28 Simeon 328  took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, 329 

2:29Now, according to your word, 330  Sovereign Lord, 331  permit 332  your servant 333  to depart 334  in peace.

2:30 For my eyes have seen your salvation 335 

2:31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: 336 

2:32 a light, 337 

for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory 338  to your people Israel.”

2:33 So 339  the child’s 340  father 341  and mother were amazed 342  at what was said about him. 2:34 Then 343  Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: 344  This child 345  is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising 346  of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. 347  2:35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts 348  of many hearts will be revealed 349 and a sword 350  will pierce your own soul as well! 351 

The Testimony of Anna

2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, 352  having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 2:37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. 353  She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 354  2:38 At that moment, 355  she came up to them 356  and began to give thanks to God and to speak 357  about the child 358  to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 359 

2:39 So 360  when Joseph and Mary 361  had performed 362  everything according to the law of the Lord, 363  they returned to Galilee, to their own town 364  of Nazareth. 365  2:40 And the child grew and became strong, 366  filled with wisdom, 367  and the favor 368  of God 369  was upon him.

Jesus in the Temple

2:41 Now 370  Jesus 371  parents went to Jerusalem 372  every 373  year for the feast of the Passover. 374  2:42 When 375  he was twelve years old, 376  they went up 377  according to custom. 2:43 But 378  when the feast was over, 379  as they were returning home, 380  the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His 381  parents 382  did not know it, 2:44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) 383  they went a day’s journey. Then 384  they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 385  2:45 When 386  they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem 387  to look for him. 2:46 After 388  three days 389  they found him in the temple courts, 390  sitting among the teachers, 391  listening to them and asking them questions. 2:47 And all who heard Jesus 392  were astonished 393  at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When 394  his parents 395  saw him, they were overwhelmed. His 396  mother said to him, “Child, 397  why have you treated 398  us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 399  2:49 But 400  he replied, 401 Why were you looking for me? 402  Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house? 403  2:50 Yet 404  his parents 405  did not understand 406  the remark 407  he made 408  to them. 2:51 Then 409  he went down with them and came to Nazareth, 410  and was obedient 411  to them. But 412  his mother kept all these things 413  in her heart. 414 

2:52 And Jesus increased 415  in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.

The Ministry of John the Baptist

3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, 416  when Pontius Pilate 417  was governor of Judea, and Herod 418  was tetrarch 419  of Galilee, and his brother Philip 420  was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias 421  was tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 during the high priesthood 422  of Annas and Caiaphas, the word 423  of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 424  3:3 He 425  went into all the region around the Jordan River, 426  preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 427 

3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice 428  of one shouting in the wilderness: 429 

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make 430  his paths straight.

3:5 Every valley will be filled, 431 

and every mountain and hill will be brought low,

and the crooked will be made straight,

and the rough ways will be made smooth,

3:6 and all humanity 432  will see the salvation of God.’ 433 

3:7 So John 434  said to the crowds 435  that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! 436  Who warned you to flee 437  from the coming wrath? 3:8 Therefore produce 438  fruit 439  that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say 440  to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ 441  For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 442  3:9 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, 443  and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be 444  cut down and thrown into the fire.”

3:10 So 445  the crowds were asking 446  him, “What then should we do? 3:11 John 447  answered them, 448 The person who has two tunics 449  must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 3:12 Tax collectors 450  also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do? 3:13 He told them, “Collect no more 451  than you are required to.” 452  3:14 Then some soldiers 453  also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” 454  He told them, “Take money from no one by violence 455  or by false accusation, 456  and be content with your pay.”

3:15 While the people were filled with anticipation 457  and they all wondered 458  whether perhaps John 459  could be the Christ, 460  3:16 John answered them all, 461 I baptize you with water, 462  but one more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy 463  to untie the strap 464  of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 465  3:17 His winnowing fork 466  is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, 467  but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” 468 

3:18 And in this way, 469  with many other exhortations, John 470  proclaimed good news to the people. 3:19 But when John rebuked Herod 471  the tetrarch 472  because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, 473  and because of all the evil deeds 474  that he had done, 3:20 Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.

The Baptism of Jesus

3:21 Now when 475  all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, 476  the heavens 477  opened, 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. 478  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; 479  in you I take great delight.” 480 

The Genealogy of Jesus

3:23 So 481  Jesus, when he began his ministry, 482  was about thirty years old. He was 483  the son (as was supposed) 484  of Joseph, the son 485  of Heli, 3:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 3:25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 3:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 3:27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, 486  the son of Shealtiel, 487  the son of Neri, 488  3:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 3:29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, 489  the son of David, 490  3:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, 491  the son of Nahshon, 3:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, 492  the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, 493  the son of Nahor, 3:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 3:36 the son of Cainan, 494  the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, 495  the son of Kenan, 496  3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. 497 

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