Some important parts of the good news about Jesus that Luke wrote
(From the book in the Holy Bible called Luke)
About this book
The Holy Bible has 4 books about the things that Jesus did, and the messages he told to people when he was here on the earth, about 2,000 years ago. Those books are in the 2nd part of the Holy Bible, called the New Testament. The men that wrote them were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They wrote their books after Jesus went back to heaven. Most of the things in their books happened in the country we now call Israel.
In each of those 4 books we can read about some of the things that Jesus did and said. This Bible has everything that Mark and John wrote about Jesus in their books, but we have not yet translated everything that Matthew and Luke wrote. We have only translated the stories and messages that Mark and John didn’t write about, but that Matthew and Luke did write about.
This book has those stories and messages that Luke wrote. They are important for us today because they tell us about the good things that Jesus did, and they tell us God’s messages that Jesus taught to people.
Luke was a doctor, and later he became a good friend of Paul and some of Jesus’s other followers. Maybe some of the things he wrote about are things he saw happen, but if not, Paul and other followers of Jesus told him about them.
Luke wrote another book that is in the Holy Bible, called Acts. In this Bible we call it The followers of Jesus did great things.
1-3 I’m writing this for you, my good friend Thiofilus.
A lot of great things happened here, and the people that saw those things happen told everyone what they saw, and a lot of people wrote down those stories that they heard. After that, I read those stories, and I talked to the people that saw those things, and I checked up on everything they said, right from the start. So now I am carefully sorting out those stories, and I am writing them in this book for you. You already heard some of this, but I want you to know the right story, and I want you to be sure about it.
An angel messenger told an old man and his wife that they were going to have a baby
When Herod was the big boss over Judea country, there was a man there that was called Zekariah. He was one of the men that looked after the Jewish ceremonies. There were different groups that did the Jewish ceremonies for the people at different times. He was in the group called the Abijah mob. His wife belonged to a family of Jewish ceremony people too. Her name was Elizabeth.* Those 2 people, Zekariah and Elizabeth, they were very good people. They did everything in Gods law, and God liked the way they lived. They got very old, but they didn’t have any kids. You see, Elizabeth just couldn’t have a baby.
The time came for Zekariah’s mob to do the ceremonies in God’s ceremony house, in Jerusalem city. One day, it was Zekariah’s turn to go into the special room in that house and burn some special perfume to make a good smell. 10 While he was doing that, a big mob of people were outside, and they were praying.
11 Then God sent one of his angel messengers to that room, and he stood on the right-hand side of the metal table where that special perfume was burning. 12 Zekariah saw the angel there and got a big shock. He was really frightened. 13 But the angel told him, “Don’t be frightened, Zekariah. God has heard what you have been asking him, and he will give you what you want. Your wife, Elizabeth, will have a baby boy, and you will name him John. 14 You will be really happy, and a lot of other people will be happy with you. 15 God will say that this kid is important, so you have to make sure he never drinks any sort of wine or grog at all. You see, the Holy Spirit will come into this kid before he gets born, while he is still inside his mother.* 16 And then, after he grows up, he will get lots of you Israel people to turn away from bad things and turn back to God. 17 Remember Elijah, Gods man that lived a long time ago. He had Gods spirit in him, and he did powerful things. Well, in the same way, your son John will have Gods spirit in him, and he will do powerful things. He will get people ready for God. John will get people to turn around and live the right way. He will get the men that are fathers to love their kids properly. And he will get people to listen properly to the sensible words of good people. Even those people that don’t listen to God now, he will get them to listen to good people.”*
18 Zekariah said to the angel, “But that’s hard for me to believe. I am an old man, and my wife is old too. We are too old now to have a baby. How can I be sure that your message is true?”
19 The angel said, “Look, I am Gabriel. I am always close to God, and I do special jobs for him. And he sent me to tell you this good message.* 20 And everything I said will happen at the right time. But you didn’t believe me, so now God will shut you up. You will not be able to talk until this kid gets born.”
21 While they were talking in that room, the people outside were waiting for Zekariah. They were thinking, “Why is he staying a long time in that room?”
22 Then Zekariah came out, and he tried to talk to them, but he couldn’t say anything. He had to make signs with his hands, and at last they understood that he saw something powerful in that room.
23 Then Zekariah finished his days of work in God’s ceremony house, and he went home.
24 Soon after that, his wife, Elizabeth, found out she was going to have a baby. She stayed inside her house for 5 months. 25 She said, “Wow. God is properly good to me. He will let me have a baby, and nobody will rubbish me any more.”
The story about the mother of Jesus
26 That baby kept on growing inside Elizabeth. After about 6 months, God sent Gabriel, that same angel messenger, to Galilee country, to a town called Nazareth. 27 He went there to a young girl that was not married. Her name was Mary. Before that time, Mary didn’t ever sleep with any man, like a woman does with her husband. She was promised to a man that was called Joseph. He belonged to the family of David, the man that was the big boss a long time ago.*
28 Gabriel came to Mary and said, “Hello, Mary. God loves you and is good to you. He is here with you now, and he will do something good for you.”
29 This worried Mary. She thought, “What’s he talking about?”
30 Gabriel said, “Don’t be frightened, Mary. God is really happy with you. 31 Listen. You will soon have a baby boy, and you will call him Jesus.* 32-33 God will make him the biggest boss over you Israel people, like David, his grand-father that lived a long time ago. He will be very important, and he will be the biggest boss for ever. He will never stop being the biggest boss over the Israel people. And people will call him the son of God.”*
34 Mary said, “But I’m not married. I’ve never slept with a man, like a wife sleeps with her husband. How will I get a baby?”
35 Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and God’s power will come over you and give you a baby. Your baby will be really special, and people will say he is God’s son. 36 And you know your cousin Elizabeth? Everyone reckoned she is too old to have a baby, but now she is carrying a baby inside her. She has been carrying that baby for the last 6 months, and soon she will have a son. 37 You see, God can do anything. Nothing is too hard for him.”*
38 Mary said, “All right, I will do whatever God wants. I want everything to happen just like you said.”
Then Gabriel left her.
Mary visited Elizabeth
39 Soon after that, Mary got ready, and she went south quickly to a town in the hilly part of the country called Judea. 40 Zekariah and Elizabeth lived in that town. Mary went to their house, and she went in and said to Elizabeth, “Hello cousin.”
41 As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary say those words, she felt her baby jump inside her. And the Holy Spirit came into her, 42 and she talked really loud. She said to Mary, “God is really good to you, and he is making you happy. He is being more good to you than to any other woman. And he is being really good to your baby too. 43 I’m not important, but you are the mother of my leader, the man from God. It is really good of you to visit me. 44 You see, as soon as I heard you say ‘hello,’ my baby inside me was so happy he jumped. 45 Yes, you believed that God will do everything he told you, and so God makes you very happy.”
Mary sang this song
46 Mary said,*
God is really good and really great, and I want to tell everybody about him.
47 My spirit is really happy with God. I know he will save me.
48 God knew that I was not important, but he picked me,
and now everyone will say that God was good to me.*
49 Yes, he is the really strong one, and he did great things for me.
God is properly good, better than anyone else.
50 He is always good to all the people that respect him. He was good to people that respected him before, and he is good to people that respect him now, and he will be good to people that respect him later on.
51 He does great things with his power, and he shows everyone that he is really strong.
Some people reckon they are smart and strong, but God makes them nothing. They are like soldiers that get frightened of the enemy and run away.
52 He chucks out the big bosses and takes their power away.
But he gets people that are not important, and he makes them bosses.*
53 And he gives hungry people good food, and they eat until they are full.
But he doesn’t give anything to the rich people. They go away with nothing.
54 He feels sorry for his own people, us Israel mob, and he helps us,
55 just like he promised to Abraham, and our other grand-fathers that lived a long time ago.
He said that he will look after us for ever.”*
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months, then she went back to her own home.
John the Baptiser was born
57 Then the time came for Elizabeth to have her baby, and she had a son. 58 All her family, and the people that lived near her, they all heard that she had a baby, and they knew that God felt sorry for Elizabeth, and that he was very good to her. Elizabeth was happy, and they were all happy too.
59 When the baby was 8 days old, all those people went to Zekariah and Elizabeth’s place. The baby boy had to have a young man operation on that day, and they used to give a baby his name at that time. The people wanted to call him Zekariah, the same name that his father had.* 60 But Elizabeth said, “No. His name is John.”
61 They said, “What? Nobody in your family has that name.” 62 So they made signs with their hands to his father, to ask him what name he wanted to give to the boy.
63 Zekariah got them to give him something to write on, and he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was shocked. 64 Then, straight away, Zekariah started to talk again, and he told everyone that God is very great.
65 The people there never saw God do things like that before. They were really surprised. They told other people about everything that happened, and soon a lot of people in the hilly part of Judea country were talking about it. 66 Everyone that heard the news thought about it, and they said, “After this kid grows up, what will he be?” They knew God was powerfully looking after that boy.
Zekariah sang this song
67 At that time, when Zekariah started talking again, the Holy Spirit came into him, and he told everyone a message from God. He said,
68 The God of us Israel mob, he is a great God.
He came now to save us, his people.
69 He sent us a very strong person, to save us.
You know about David, the big boss that worked for God a long time ago.
Well, this person is in David’s family.
70 God promised this to us a long time ago, and he got his men to tell us this message.
71 God promised to save us from our enemies,
and from everyone that hates us.
72 He did that because he felt sorry for our grand-fathers that lived a long time ago, and wanted to be good to them,
and do everything that he promised.
73 Yes, God will remember the things he promised to our grand-father Abraham.
74 He promised to save us from our enemies,
so we can work for him without being frightened.
75 We can live God’s way and work for him in the right way,
and we can do that all our lives.”
76 Then Zekariah talked to his baby boy. He said,
This word is for you, my son.
Everyone will know that you tell people messages from God.
You will get things ready for God.*
77 You will teach his people how God can say they are not guilty of the bad things they did,
and then God will save them.
78 You see, our God feels sorry for us, so he will do that for us.
It will be like the sun coming up, bringing light from God.
79 That light will shine for everybody.
Some people are like they are in the dark. They think they will die soon.
But that light will shine on everybody.
It will show us how to live in a happy and quiet way.”*
80 After that, baby John grew up to be a man, and God made his spirit strong. He went and lived out in the bush for years, until he started to tell the Israel people God’s messages.
* 1:5 1 Chronicles 24:10 * 1:15 Numbers 6:3 * 1:17 Malachi 4:5-6 * 1:19 Daniel 8:16; 9:21 * 1:27 Matthew 1:18 * 1:31 Matthew 1:21 * 1:32-33 2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16; Isaiah 9:7 * 1:37 Genesis 18:14 * 1:46 1 Samuel 2:1-10 * 1:48 1 Samuel 1:11 * 1:52 Job 5:11; 12:19 * 1:55 Genesis 17:7 * 1:59 Leviticus 12:3 * 1:76 Malachi 3:1 * 1:79 Isaiah 9:2