Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.
When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs1 to them but remained unable to speak.
When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
"The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace2 among the people."
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel3 to Nazareth,4 a town in Galilee,
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,5 a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid,6 Mary, you have found favor with God.7
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.8
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.9 The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,10
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom11 will never end."12
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,13 and the power of the Most High14 will overshadow you. So the holy one15 to be born will be called the Son of God.16
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child17 in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
For nothing is impossible with God."18
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.