1It was the time when Caesar Augustus issued a decree that there should be a census of everyone in the Roman Empire. 2This was the first census under governor Quirinius of Syria. 3So everybody went to their own city to be registered. 4Joseph was descended from King David, so he left Nazareth in Galilee to go to Bethlehem, the city of David, in Judea. 5He went to register there, together with Mary, who was pledged in marriage to him and expecting a baby. 6While they were there, the time came for her to have her baby. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him up in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because the inn had no rooms left.
8Nearby some shepherds were spending the night out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them. They were scared out of their wits!
10“Don't be afraid!” the angel told them. “I'm here to bring you good news that will make the all the people really glad. 11The Savior has been born to you today, here in David's city. He is the Messiah, the Lord. 12You will recognize him by this sign: you will find the child wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly many heavenly beings appeared, praising God, saying,
14“Glory to the God of heaven, and on earth peace to those with whom he is pleased!”
15After the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see what's happened concerning these things the Lord has told us about.”
16They hurried there and found Mary, Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17After they'd seen for themselves, they spread the news of what had happened and what they had been told about this baby. 18All those who heard about it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary was careful to remember all the things that had happened and often thought about them. 20The shepherds went back to watching their flocks, glorifying and thanking God for all that they'd heard and seen, for it was just as they'd been told.
21After eight days, the time came for the baby to be circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This was the name given to him by the angel before he had even been conceived. 22When the time of their purification according to the law of Moses was finished, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23as the law of the Lord states, “Every firstborn son must be dedicated to the Lord.”#2:23. Exodus 13:2. 24There they made a sacrifice, as God's law also states, of “a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.”#2:24. Leviticus 12:8.
25Living in Jerusalem at that time was a man called Simeon. Simeon did what was right and was very devout. He was waiting expectantly for the hope of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would not die before he saw the Lord's Messiah.#2:26. Or “Christ.” 27Following the Spirit's leading, he went to the Temple. When Jesus' parents brought in the little boy to be dedicated as required by the Law, 28Simeon took Jesus in his arms, thanked God, and said,
29“Lord and Master, now you can let your servant die in peace as you promised, 30because I have seen for myself your salvation 31which you have prepared for everyone. 32He is a light that will show you to the nations, the glory of your people Israel.” 33Jesus' father and mother were shocked at what Simeon said about him.
34Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Jesus' mother Mary, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall and many to rise. He is a sign from God that many will reject, 35revealing what they really think. For you it will feel like a sword piercing right though your heart.”
36Anna the prophetess also lived in Jerusalem. She was the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. She had been married for seven years, 37and then she had been widowed. She was eighty-four years old. She spent her time at the Temple in worship, fasting and praying. 38She came up to them right at that moment, and began praising God. She spoke about Jesus to all those who were looking forward to the time when God would set Jerusalem free.
39Once they had completed everything God's law required, they returned to their home town of Nazareth in Galilee. 40The child grew strong, and was very wise. God's blessing was with him.
41Jesus' parents traveled to Jerusalem every year for the Passover festival. 42When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as they always did. 43When the festival had finished and it was time to return home, the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, but his parents didn't realize this. 44They assumed he was with all the others traveling home. A day passed before they started looking for him among their friends and relatives. 45When they couldn't find him they returned to Jerusalem to look for him there. 46It was three days before they found him in the Temple. He was sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47All who heard him speak were surprised by his understanding and his answers.
48His parents were totally confused when they saw what he was doing. His mother asked him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I—we've been worried sick! We've been looking everywhere for you!”
49“Why is it that you were looking for me?” Jesus replied. “Didn't you know I should be here in my Father's house?” 50But they didn't understand what he meant. 51Then he went back with them to Nazareth, and did what he was told. His mother kept a careful note of everything that happened. 52Jesus grew steadily wiser and stronger, favored both by God and by the people.