16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord,(A) in the spirit and power of Elijah,(B) to turn the hearts of the parents to their children(C) and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(D)

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?(E) I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”(F)

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel.(G) I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak(H) until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs(I) to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace(J) among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel(K) to Nazareth,(L) a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,(M) a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,(N) Mary; you have found favor with God.(O) 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.(P) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.(Q) The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,(R) 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom(S) will never end.”(T)

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,(U) and the power of the Most High(V) will overshadow you. So the holy one(W) to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.(X) 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child(Y) in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”(Z)

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy,