Luke 1:5-40 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Zechariah and Elizabeth
5 During the time Herod ruled Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah. He belonged to Abijah’s group.[a] Zechariah’s wife came from the family of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth truly did what God said was good. They did everything the Lord commanded and told people to do. They were without fault in keeping his law. 7 But Zechariah and Elizabeth had no children. Elizabeth could not have a baby; and both of them were very old.
8 Zechariah was serving as a priest before God for his group. It was his group’s time to serve. 9 According to the custom of the priests, he was chosen to go into the Temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 There were a great many people outside praying at the time the incense was offered. 11 Then, on the right side of the incense table, an angel of the Lord came and stood before Zechariah. 12 When he saw the angel, Zechariah was confused and frightened. 13 But the angel said to him, “Zechariah, don’t be afraid. Your prayer has been heard by God. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son. You will name him John. 14 You will be very happy. Many people will be happy because of his birth. 15 John will be a great man for the Lord. He will never drink wine or beer. Even at the time John is born, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will help many people of Israel return to the Lord their God. 17 He himself will go first before the Lord. John will be powerful in spirit like Elijah. He will make peace between fathers and their children. He will bring those who are not obeying God back to the right way of thinking. He will make people ready for the coming of the Lord.”
18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know that what you say is true? I am an old man, and my wife is old, too.”
19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand before God. God sent me to talk to you and to tell you this good news. 20 Now, listen! You will not be able to talk until the day these things happen. You will lose your speech because you did not believe what I told you. But these things will really happen.”
21 Outside, the people were still waiting for Zechariah. They were surprised that he was staying so long in the Temple. 22 Then Zechariah came outside, but he could not speak to them. So they knew that he had seen a vision in the Temple. Zechariah could not speak. He could only make signs to them. 23 When his time of service as a priest was finished, he went home.
24 Later, Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant. She did not go out of her house for five months. Elizabeth said, 25 “Look what the Lord has done for me! My people were ashamed[b] of me, but now the Lord has taken away that shame.”
The Virgin Mary
26-27 During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. 28 The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
29 But Mary was very confused by what the angel said. Mary wondered, “What does this mean?”
30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, because God is pleased with you. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant. You will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and people will call him the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. 33 He will rule over the people of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen? I am a virgin!”
35 The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. The baby will be holy. He will be called the Son of God. 36 Now listen! Elizabeth, your relative, is very old. But she is also pregnant with a son. Everyone thought she could not have a baby, but she has been pregnant for six months. 37 God can do everything!”
38 Mary said, “I am the servant girl of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.
39 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the mountains of Judea. 40 She went to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.
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