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The Birth of Jesus
(Mt. 1:18–25)

1At that time, Augustus Caesar sent out an order to all people in the countries that were under Roman rule. The order said that all people must write their name in a book (register).

2This was the first registration. It happened while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3All people traveled to their own towns to be registered.

4So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. This town was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David.

5Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him. (Mary was now pregnant.)

6While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby.

7She gave birth to her first son (Jesus). There was not enough room for them in the house. So Mary wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid the baby in a box where cattle are fed.

Some Shepherds Hear About Jesus

8That night, some shepherds were in the fields there watching their sheep.

9An angel of the Lord (God) stood before the shepherds. The glory of the Lord was shining around them. The shepherds became very afraid.

10The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid. I have some very good news for you. It will make all the people very happy.

11Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord.

12This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

13Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying:

14“ Praise God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people that please God.”

15The angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “We will go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord (God) told us about.”

16So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. The baby was lying in the feeding box.

17The shepherds saw the baby. Then they told what the angels said about this child.

18Everyone was surprised when they heard what the shepherds told them.

19Mary continued to think about these things. She was trying to understand them.

20The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.

21When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name was given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

22The time came for Mary and Joseph to do the things the law of Moses taught about being made pure. Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem so they could present him to the Lord (God).

23It is written in the law of the Lord (God): “When a mother’s first baby is a boy, he shall be called ‘special for the Lord.’” Christ The “anointed one” (Messiah) or chosen one of God.

24The law of the Lord also says that the people must give a sacrifice: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.” So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to do this.

Simeon Sees Jesus

25A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man that truly worshiped God. Simeon was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel (the Jews). The Holy Spirit was in him.

26The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ from the Lord (God).

27The Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do what the Jewish law said they must do. They brought the baby Jesus to the temple.

28Simeon held the baby in his arms and thanked God:

29“Now, Lord (God), you can let me, your servant, die in peace like you said.

30I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people.

31Now all people can see your plan.

32He (Jesus) is a light to show your way to the non-Jewish people. He will bring honor to your people, Israel (the Jews).”

33Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him.

34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign (proof) from God that some people will not accept.

35The things that people think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart very sad.”

Anna Sees Jesus

36Anna, a prophetess, was there at the temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the Asher family group. Anna was very old. She had been married for seven years.

37Then her husband died and she lived alone. She was now 84 years old. Anna was always at the temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night.

38Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all the people who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

39Joseph and Mary finished doing all the things that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee.

40The little boy (Jesus) was growing. He became stronger and wiser. God’s blessings were with him.

Jesus As a Boy

41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.

42When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the feast like they always did.

43When the feast days were finished, they went home. But the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know about it.

44Joseph and Mary traveled for a whole day. They thought that Jesus was with them in the group. They began to look for him among their family and close friends.

45But Joseph and Mary did not find Jesus in the group. So they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there.

46After three days they found him. Jesus was sitting in the temple area with the religious teachers, listening and asking them questions.

47Everyone heard him. They were amazed at his understanding and wise answers.

48When Jesus’ parents saw him, they were amazed. His mother said to him, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you.”

49Jesus said to them, “Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be where my Father’s (God’s) work is!”

50But they did not understand the meaning of what he said to them.

51Jesus went with them to Nazareth. He obeyed everything his parents said. His mother was still thinking about all these things.

52Jesus continued to learn more and more. He grew taller. People liked Jesus, and he pleased God.

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