At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire.
This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived.
So 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.
Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant.
While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child.
She 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.
Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night.
An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified.
The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy.
Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David's city.
This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."
Suddenly, a large army of angels appeared with the angel. They were praising God by saying,
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those who have his good will!"
The 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."
They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger.
When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him.
Everyone who heard the shepherds' story was amazed.
Mary treasured all these things in her heart and always thought about them.
As 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.
Eight 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.
After 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.
They did exactly what was written in the Lord's Teachings: "Every firstborn boy is to be set apart as holy to the Lord."
They also offered a sacrifice as required by the Lord's Teachings: "a pair of mourning doves or two young pigeons."
A 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
and had told him that he wouldn't die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send.
Moved 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.
Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying,
"Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace as you promised.
My eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people to see.
He is a light that will reveal [salvation] to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel."
Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him.
Then 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
the thoughts of those who reject him. And a sword will pierce your heart."
Anna, 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,
and she had been a widow for 84 years. Anna never left the temple courtyard but worshiped day and night by fasting and praying.
At 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.
After doing everything the Lord's Teachings required, Joseph and Mary returned to their hometown of Nazareth in Galilee.
The child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God's favor was with him.
Every year Jesus' parents would go to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.
When he was 12 years old, they went as usual.
When the festival was over, they left for home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn't know it.
They 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.
When they didn't find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
Three days later, they found him in the temple courtyard. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions.
His understanding and his answers stunned everyone who heard him.
When 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!"
Jesus said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you realize that I had to be in my Father's house?"
But they didn't understand what he meant.
Then he returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor from God and people.