2:1Those were the days in which Caesar Augustus issued a decree to take a census of the whole inhabited world.2:2This registration took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria.2:3So everyone traveled to their hometown.
2:4One of them was Joseph. He went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee into Judea, to the City of David which is called Bethlehem, since he was of the house and lineage of David.2:5He registered together with his fiancée Mary, who was pregnant.2:6And it so happened that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.2:7She had a son, her firstborn, whom she wrapped in baby clothes.1 But she had to lay him in a feeding trough due to the fact that there was not a single room available for them in the inn.
2:8There were shepherds camping out in the area to watch over their flocks throughout the night.22:9Suddenly a Messenger of the Master stood beside them! The majesty of the Master shone around them as well, and they were extremely terrified.2:10“Don’t be afraid,” the Messenger said to them, “because I’m here to announce good news to you, of great happiness which extends to all the people.2:11For today a Savior, the Anointed Master, was born to you in the City of David.2:12And here is a sign for you: you will find the infant wrapped in baby clothes and lying in a feeding trough.”
2:13Suddenly the Messenger was joined by the whole celestial army! They were praising God and saying,2:14“The highest honor to God, and peace on earth to the people with whom he is pleased!”2:15While the Messengers were leaving them and returning to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “By all means, let’s go over to Bethlehem to see what the Master told us has happened!”
2:16So they hurried along and discovered Mary and Joseph, and the infant was lying in the feeding trough.2:17Having seen this, they told everyone about the declaration that had been given to them concerning this little one.2:18And everyone who heard it was amazed about what the shepherds told them.2:19But Mary mulled over in her mind what all these things could mean.2:20Then the shepherds returned, honoring and praising God on account of everything they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.
2:21When the eighth day arrived for him to be circumcised, he was given the name Jesus, which was the name given by the Messenger before he was conceived.2:22And when the days of cleansing required by the law of Moses were completed, they took him into Jerusalem to present to the Master.2:23(It is written in the law of the Master that every first-born male is to be consecrated to the Master,2:24and this requires the sacrifice stipulated in the law of the Master: a pair of doves or two young pigeons.)
2:25It just so happened that there was someone in Jerusalem by the name of Simon. He was a righteous and conscientious person who was expecting the Comfort of Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him2:26and had revealed to him that he would not die without first seeing the Master’s Anointed.2:27The Spirit prompted him to go into the temple compound, where the parents of little Jesus were admitting him in order to fulfill the custom of the law concerning him.
2:28Simon picked up Jesus and held him in his arms, then praised God and said,2:29“Your slave can now be released in peace, my Owner, in accordance with what you declared.2:30For my eyes have seen the salvation2:31you prepared in the presence of all the people,2:32a light of revelation to the non-Judeans and honor to your people, Israel.”2:33These things spoken about Jesus took his father and mother by surprise.2:34Then Simon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Look! This one is set to cause the downfall and arising of many in Israel— and to be a controversial sign.2:35But a broadsword will be thrust through your soul, so that the thoughts in many minds will be exposed.”
2:36Now there was another prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was well-advanced in age, having lived with her husband for seven years of their marriage2:37and then being a widow until she was eighty-four. She never leaves the temple compound, and night and day she offers impassioned prayer and performs divine service.2:38At that very day and hour she came near and praised God, and she spoke about him to all those who were expecting the redemption of Jerusalem.
2:39After they had fulfilled everything according to the requirements of the law of the Master, they returned to Galilee, to their home town of Nazareth.2:40Then the little one grew strong and became very wise, and the favor of God was upon him.2:41His parents took him to Jerusalem for the Passover festival each year.
2:42When he was twelve years old they went up to Jerusalem for the traditional festival as usual.2:43When it was over they returned home, but they were unaware that the boy Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem.2:44They presumed he was somewhere among their travelling companions, but after a day’s travel they began to search for him among their relatives and good friends.2:45When they couldn’t find him they went back to Jerusalem to keep searching.
2:46It was three days later when they found him. He was sitting among the teachers, listening and asking them questions,2:47and impressing everyone who heard him with his mental prowess and responses.2:48His parents were dumbfounded! But his mother demanded, “Child, look at what you have done to us! Your father and I have been searching frantically for you!”
2:49“Why were you looking for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I had to attend to my Father’s affairs?”2:50But they had no idea what he was talking about.2:51Then he went down with them to Nazareth and supported them. His mother carefully noted everything that was said and kept it in mind.2:52Jesus advanced in wisdom and maturity, earning the favor of God and people.
- 1“Baby clothes” is literally “strips of cloth,” which was the usual way of clothing infants.
- 2Shepherds only watched their flocks all night during breeding seasons, in fall and spring, helping us determine the time of year. Further discussion regarding the birth of John the Baptist:
Since Elizabeth was in her sixth month when Jesus was conceived, we can calculate when Jesus was born if we know when John was born. Zacharias was serving in the temple during the course of Abijah. This was June 13-19 in that year. (The Companion Bible, 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).
Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth. (http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/when-was-jesus-christ-born-was-jesus-born-december-25-christmas-day)