The Census and the Birth of Jesus
1 Now1 in those days a decree2 went out from Caesar3 Augustus4 to register5 all the empire6 for taxes. 2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor7 of Syria. 3 Everyone8 went to his own town9 to be registered. 4 So10 Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth11 in Galilee to Judea, to the city12 of David called Bethlehem,13 because he was of the house14 and family line15 of David. 5 He went16 to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him,17 and who was expecting a child. 6 While18 they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.19 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth20 and laid him in a manger,21 because there was no place for them in the inn.22
The Shepherds’ Visit
8 Now23 there were shepherds24 nearby25 living out in the field, keeping guard26 over their flock at night. 9 An27 angel of the Lord28 appeared to29 them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified.30 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully,31 for I proclaim to you good news32 that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today33 your Savior is born in the city34 of David.35 He is Christ36 the Lord. 12 This37 will be a sign38 for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”39 13 Suddenly40 a vast, heavenly army41 appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory42 to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people43 with whom he is pleased!”44
15 When45 the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem46 and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord47 has made known to us.” 16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger.48 17 When49 they saw him,50 they related what they had been told51 about this child, 18 and all who heard it were astonished52 at what the shepherds said. 19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean.53 20 So54 the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising55 God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.56
21 At57 the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel58 before he was conceived in the womb.
Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple
22 Now59 when the time came for their60 purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary61 brought Jesus62 up to Jerusalem63 to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male64 will be set apart to the Lord”65), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves of doves66 or two young pigeons.67
The Prophecy of Simeon
25 Now68 there was a man in Jerusalem69 named Simeon who was righteous70 and devout, looking for the restoration71 of Israel, and the Holy Spirit72 was upon him. 26 It73 had been revealed74 to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die75 before76 he had seen the Lord’s Christ.77 27 So78 Simeon,79 directed by the Spirit,80 came into the temple courts,81 and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law,82 28 Simeon83 took him in his arms and blessed God, saying,84
29 “Now, according to your word,85 Sovereign Lord,86 permit87 your servant88 to depart89 in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation90 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:91
for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory93 to your people Israel.”
33 So94 the child’s95 father96 and mother were amazed97 at what was said about him. 34 Then98 Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully:99 This child100 is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising101 of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected.102 35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts103 of many hearts will be revealed104 – and a sword105 will pierce your own soul as well!”106
The Testimony of Anna
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old,107 having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years.108 She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.109 38 At that moment,110 she came up to them111 and began to give thanks to God and to speak112 about the child113 to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.114
39 So115 when Joseph and Mary116 had performed117 everything according to the law of the Lord,118 they returned to Galilee, to their own town119 of Nazareth.120 40 And the child grew and became strong,121 filled with wisdom,122 and the favor123 of God124 was upon him.
Jesus in the Temple
41 Now125 Jesus’126 parents went to Jerusalem127 every128 year for the feast of the Passover.129 42 When130 he was twelve years old,131 they went up132 according to custom. 43 But133 when the feast was over,134 as they were returning home,135 the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His136 parents137 did not know it, 44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers)138 they went a day’s journey. Then139 they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances.140 45 When141 they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem142 to look for him. 46 After143 three days144 they found him in the temple courts,145 sitting among the teachers,146 listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Jesus147 were astonished148 at his understanding and his answers. 48 When149 his parents150 saw him, they were overwhelmed. His151 mother said to him, “Child,152 why have you treated153 us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”154 49 But155 he replied,156 “Why were you looking for me?157 Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”158 50 Yet159 his parents160 did not understand161 the remark162 he made163 to them. 51 Then164 he went down with them and came to Nazareth,165 and was obedient166 to them. But167 his mother kept all these things168 in her heart.169
52 And Jesus increased170 in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.