Mary had a baby boy
1-3 About the time that John was born, the biggest boss over all those countries was called Augustus. He sent a message to everyone in every country. He said, “The government bosses in every town have to write down everyone’s name on a big list, and make them pay tax money.” So everyone had to go back to their home town and put their names on the list there. (At that time a man called Quirinius was the government boss over Syria country.)
4 Joseph belonged to the family of David, the man that was Israel’s big boss a long time ago. David grew up in the town called Bethlehem, in Judea country, but Joseph lived in a town called Nazareth, in Galilee country. So Joseph had to go south to Bethlehem, to put his name on the right list.
5 Joseph took Mary with him. She was his promised wife, and she was carrying a baby inside her at that time.
6-7 At Bethlehem they couldn’t find any room to stay in, so they had to sleep in the place where the animals ate their food. Then the time came for Mary to have her baby. She had her baby right there, and she wrapped him up in bits of cloth, just like mothers always did. And she put him down to sleep in an animal’s feed box.
Men that looked after sheep saw baby Jesus
8 Not far away, on that same night, some men were out in the grass lands looking after their sheep.
9 Suddenly, an angel messenger from God stood there with them, and bright light from God was shining all around them, and they were very frightened.
10 But the angel said, “Don’t be frightened. I’ve got really good news for you, and good news for everyone in the world too.
11-12 Today a young woman had a baby boy over there in Bethlehem, in the place where David grew up. Go there, and you will find him. He is wrapped up in cloth, and lying in an animal’s feed box. Then you will know that this message is true. He is the one that is going to save you people. He is the Christ, the man that God promised to send to you, to be your leader.”
13 Then suddenly a big mob of other angel messengers came from heaven, and they all praised God. They said,
14 “God, you are really great there in heaven.
And here on the earth, your people are quiet and happy.
You are really good to your people.”
15 Then the angels went back to heaven, and the men said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this baby that God just told us about.”
16 Then they went quickly, and they found Mary and Joseph, with the baby boy in an animal’s feed box, just like the angel said.
17 After those men saw the baby, they talked to people about him, and they told them the message that God’s angel gave them.
18 Everyone was surprised when they heard what those men said.
19 And Mary remembered their words, and she thought about them a lot.
20 As those men walked back to their sheep, they talked about how everything happened, just like God’s angel said. They said to God, “You are really great.” And they told everybody that God is great.
They named the baby Jesus
21 You know, the law of Moses said that they had to do a young man operation on all baby boys as soon as they were 8 days old. So Mary’s baby had that operation, and they gave him his name, Jesus, at that time. That’s the name that God’s angel messenger told Mary to call him, before she started to carry that baby inside her.
Simeon and Anna met Jesus
22-24 The Jewish law is like this, a woman’s first baby boy belongs to God. And after a baby boy is born, the mother can’t go into God’s ceremony house or do any of their ceremonies for the next 40 days. It is like she is not clean. Then, after 40 days, she has to go to God’s ceremony house in Jerusalem. She has to get a leader of the Jewish ceremonies there to kill 2 pigeons and burn them, and let the smoke go up to God. This will make her clean again for Jewish ceremonies. So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem at the right time to follow that law. They took baby Jesus with them.
25 There was an old man in Jerusalem at that time. His name was Simeon. He was a good man that lived God’s way, and he was waiting for God to make the Israel people happy again. And the Holy Spirit used to tell him things.
26 Before that time, the Holy Spirit told him, “You will stay alive until you see the special man that God will send to save his people. He is called the Christ.”
27 Then on the day that Joseph and Mary took Jesus into God’s ceremony house, the Holy Spirit told Simeon to go there too, so he was there when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus in.
28 And Simeon took Jesus from them, and held him in his arms, and he thanked God, and said,
29 “Now, God, I can die happy, just like you promised me,
30-31 because now I can see the one that you promised to send.
People in every tribe will see him, and he will save them.
32 He will shine like a light for people that are not Jews,
showing them new things about you, God.
And he will get everyone to respect your people, the Israel nation.”
33 Joseph and Mary heard the things Simeon said about Jesus, and they were surprised.
34 Then Simeon asked God to be good to them, and he said to Mary, “This kid is going to ruin a lot of people in Israel, but he will help a lot of others. He will point people to God, but they will not understand, and they will argue against him.
35 When they do that, they will show everyone what they really think. And Mary, later you will be really sad. It will hurt, like somebody is stabbing you with a big knife.”
36-38 While Joseph and Mary were talking to Simeon, a very old woman came along. Her name was Anna. She saw Jesus, and she thanked God for him. Some of the people there were waiting for God to send somebody to help the Jewish people. Anna told them about Jesus, that he is that special person.
Anna’s father was Fanuel, and he belonged to the tribe called Asher. She was 84 years old. A long time before this, Anna was a young woman and she got married. But then after 7 years her husband died. After that, she stayed in God’s ceremony house all the time, telling the people God’s words. She prayed all the time, in the day time and at night, and often she didn’t eat any food because she was praying.
39 After that, Joseph and Mary finished doing everything that their law said they had to do. Then they went back home, to Nazareth, in Galilee country.
40 And the baby started to grow big and strong, and he got wise too. And God was good to him.
When Jesus was a boy, he visited God’s ceremony house
41 The Jewish people have a ceremony every year called Passover. Every year Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem for that ceremony.
42 When Jesus was 12 years old, they went to Jerusalem, like they always did, and they took Jesus with them.
43-44 After that ceremony finished, they started to go north, back to their home in Nazareth. They were with a lot of other people going north, and they thought Jesus was somewhere in that mob. They thought, “He will come to us when we stop to camp tonight.” But Jesus didn’t come to them when they stopped to camp. You see, he was still back in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph looked for him among their relatives and all that mob that was camping on that road,
45 but they didn’t find him. So they went back to Jerusalem and looked for him there.
46 They looked for him for 3 days, then they found him in God’s ceremony house. He was sitting with the teachers there. He was listening to what they were saying, and he was asking them questions.
47 The people there listened to Jesus too, and they were very surprised at the things he said. He understood lots of things, and he knew the answers to all of their questions.
48 His mother and father were shocked, and Mary said, “My son, why did you do this to us? Your father and me, we have been worried about you. We have been looking everywhere for you, for 3 days.”
49 Jesus said, “Why did you look everywhere for me? I had to be in my father’s special house. You should know that.”
50 But they didn’t understand what he meant by those words.
51 Then Jesus went with them back to Nazareth, and he always did what his mother and father told him to do. And his mother always remembered all those things that happened, and she always thought about them.
52 Jesus grew up to be a man, and as he got bigger, he became very wise too. God was really happy with him, and so was everyone that knew him.
(We have not yet translated 3:1—4:13. You can read those stories and messages in Mark 1:1-34, 40-45; 2:1—3:6; 3:13-19; Matthew 3:1—5:12; 5:38-48; 7:1-5, 12, 17-20, 24-27; 8:5-13. They are about some things that happened before Jesus started going around telling people God’s good news.)