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The Birth of Jesus
2 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, because I am telling you some good news. 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"Give glory to 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 hid these things in her heart;
she continued to think about 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.'"* 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.
Footnotes: Caesar The name given to the emperor (ruler) of Rome. registration Census.
A counting of all the people and the things they own. David King of Israel about
1000 years before Christ. Christ The "anointed one" (Messiah) or chosen one of
God. circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish baby
boy. It was a mark of the agreement that God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). pure
The law of Moses said that 40 days after a Jewish woman gave birth to a baby, she
must be cleansed by a ceremony at the temple. Read Lev. 12:2-8. "When ... the Lord'"
See Ex. 13:2, 12. sacrifice An offering or gift to God. "You must ... pigeons" Quote
from Lev. 12:8.
"Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation
Center, Inc. and used by permission."
Old Testament in a Year:
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