GOD'S WORD® Translation
1At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived. 4So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of King David, went to Bethlehem because David had been born there. 5Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant. 6While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn't any room for them in the inn.
8Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night. 9An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. 10The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. 11Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David's city. 12This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly, a large army of angels appeared with the angel. They were praising God by saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those who have his good will!"
15The angels left them and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." 16They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger. 17When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him. 18Everyone who heard the shepherds' story was amazed. 19Mary treasured all these things in her heart and always thought about them. 20As the shepherds returned to their flock, they glorified and praised God for everything they had seen and heard. Everything happened the way the angel had told them.
21Eight days after his birth, the child was circumcised and named Jesus. This was the name the angel had given him before his mother became pregnant.
22After the days required by Moses' Teachings to make a mother clean had passed, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem. They took Jesus to present him to the Lord. 23They did exactly what was written in the Lord's Teachings: "Every firstborn boy is to be set apart as holy to the Lord." 24They also offered a sacrifice as required by the Lord's Teachings: "a pair of mourning doves or two young pigeons."
25A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He lived an honorable and devout life. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel. The Holy Spirit was with Simeon 26and had told him that he wouldn't die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send. 27Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses' Teachings required. 28Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying,
29"Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace as you promised.
30My eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared for all people to see.
32He is a light that will reveal [salvation] to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel."
33Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, "This child is the reason that many people in Israel will be condemned and many others will be saved. He will be a sign that will expose 35the thoughts of those who reject him. And a sword will pierce your heart."
36Anna, a prophet, was also there. She was a descendant of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was now very old. Her husband had died seven years after they were married, 37and she had been a widow for 84 years. Anna never left the temple courtyard but worshiped day and night by fasting and praying. 38At that moment she came up to Mary and Joseph and began to thank God. She spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for Jerusalem to be set free.
39After doing everything the Lord's Teachings required, Joseph and Mary returned to their hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. 40The child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God's favor was with him.
41Every year Jesus' parents would go to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42When he was 12 years old, they went as usual. 43When the festival was over, they left for home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn't know it. 44They thought that he was with the others who were traveling with them. After traveling for a day, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they didn't find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46Three days later, they found him in the temple courtyard. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. 47His understanding and his answers stunned everyone who heard him. 48When his parents saw him, they were shocked. His mother asked him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been worried sick looking for you!" 49Jesus said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you realize that I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they didn't understand what he meant. 51Then he returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor from God and people.