18This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. 20While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. 21She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus — because he will save his people from their sins.”
22Now all this happened in order to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, 23“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
24So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to do. 25But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Visitors from the East
1Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterwards, some men who studied the stars came from the east to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”
5“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they answered. “For this is what the prophet wrote:
6‘Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
you are by no means the least of the leading cities of Judah;
for from you will come a leader
who will guide my people Israel.’ ”
7So Herod called the visitors from the east to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: “Go and make a careful search for the child, and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9-10And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the east. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 11They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.
12Then they returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.
The Escape to Egypt
13After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Herod will be looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.”
14Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, 15where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
The Killing of the Children
16When Herod realized that the visitors from the east had tricked him, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood who were two years old and younger — this was done in accordance with what he had learned from the visitors about the time when the star had appeared.
17In this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true:
18“A sound is heard in Ramah,
the sound of bitter weeping.
Rachel is crying for her children;
she refuses to be comforted,
for they are dead.”
The Return from Egypt
19After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the child are dead.” 21So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Israel.
22But when Joseph heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. He was given more instructions in a dream, so he went to the province of Galilee 23and made his home in a town named Nazareth. And so what the prophets had said came true: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
1At that time John the Baptist came to the desert of Judah and started preaching. 2“Turn away from your sins,” he said, “because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” 3John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said:
“Someone is shouting in the desert,
‘Prepare a road for the Lord;
make a straight path for him to travel!’ ”
4John's clothes were made of camel's hair; he wore a leather belt round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5People came to him from Jerusalem, from the whole province of Judea, and from all the country near the River Jordan. 6They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan.
7When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to him to be baptized, he said to them, “You snakes — who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. 9And don't think you can escape punishment by saying that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham! 10The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire. 11I baptize you with water to show that you have repented, but the one who will come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He is much greater than I am; and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. 12He has his winnowing shovel with him to thresh out all the grain. He will gather his wheat into his barn, but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”
13At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14But John tried to make him change his mind. “I ought to be baptized by you,” John said, “and yet you have come to me!”
15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.” So John agreed.
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him. 17Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”
1Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. 2After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. 3Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God's Son, order these stones to turn into bread.”
4But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’ ”
5Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, 6and said to him, “If you are God's Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says:
‘God will give orders to his angels about you;
they will hold you up with their hands,
so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ ”
7Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
8Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. 9“All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.”
10Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”
11Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.
12When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went away to Galilee. 13He did not stay in Nazareth, but went to live in Capernaum, a town by Lake Galilee, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14This was done to make what the prophet Isaiah had said come true:
15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
on the road to the sea, on the other side of the Jordan,
Galilee, land of the Gentiles!
16The people who live in darkness
will see a great light.
On those who live in the dark land of death
the light will shine.”
17From that time Jesus began to preach his message: “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom of heaven is near!”
18As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. 19Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.”20At once they left their nets and went with him.
21He went on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat with their father Zebedee, getting their nets ready. Jesus called them, 22and at once they left the boat and their father, and went with him.
23Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of disease and sickness. 24The news about him spread through the whole country of Syria, so that people brought to him all those who were sick, suffering from all kinds of diseases and disorders: people with demons, and epileptics, and paralytics — and Jesus healed them all. 25Large crowds followed him from Galilee and the Ten Towns, from Jerusalem, Judea, and the land on the other side of the Jordan.