The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel(A) to Nazareth,(B) a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,(C) 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,(D) Mary; you have found favor with God.(E) 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.(F) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.(G) The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,(H) 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom(I) will never end.”(J)

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,(K) and the power of the Most High(L) will overshadow you. So the holy one(M) to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.(N) 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child(O) 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.”(P)

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

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,(Q) 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.(R) 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,(S) and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord(T) should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song(U)

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord(V)
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,(W)
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.(X)
From now on all generations will call me blessed,(Y)
49     for the Mighty One has done great things(Z) for me—
    holy is his name.(AA)
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.(AB)
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;(AC)
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.(AD)
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.(AE)
53 He has filled the hungry with good things(AF)
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful(AG)
55 to Abraham and his descendants(AH) forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

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Footnotes

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

A Virgin Conceives

26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.

29-33 She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
    be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
    the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
    no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

35 The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
    will be called Holy, Son of God.

36-38 “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
    I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
    just as you say.

Then the angel left her.

Blessed Among Women

39-45 Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,

You’re so blessed among women,
    and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
    the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
    believed every word would come true!

46-55 And Mary said,

I’m bursting with God-news;
    I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
    I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
    the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
    on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
    scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
    pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
    the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
    he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
    beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home.

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