Contemporary English Version
The Ancestors of Jesus
1 Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors. 2-6a From Abraham to King David, his ancestors were:
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers (Judah’s sons were Perez and Zerah, and their mother was Tamar), Hezron;
Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.
6b-11 From David to the time of the exile in Babylonia, the ancestors of Jesus were:
David, Solomon (his mother had been Uriah’s wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram;
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.
12-16 From the exile to the birth of Jesus, his ancestors were:
Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim;
Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
17 There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen from David to the exile in Babylonia and fourteen more to the birth of the Messiah.
The Birth of Jesus
18 This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a good man[a] and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.
20 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus,[b] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23 “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
24 After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do. 25 But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
The Wise Men
2 When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men[c] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[d] and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4 Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”
5 They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
6 ’Bethlehem in the land
you are very important
among the towns of Judea.
From your town
will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd
for my people Israel.’”
7 Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8 He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”
9 The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
11 When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh[e] and gave them to him. 12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
The Escape to Egypt
13 After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.”
14 That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15 where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”
The Killing of the Children
16 When Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him, he was very angry. He gave orders for his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. This was based on what he had learned from the wise men.
17 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet Jeremiah had said,
18 “In Ramah a voice was heard
crying and weeping loudly.
Rachel was mourning
for her children,
and she refused
to be comforted,
because they were dead.”
The Return from Egypt
19 After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.”
21 Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. 22 But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, 23 and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”[f]
The Preaching of John the Baptist
3 John was the one the prophet Isaiah was talking about, when he said,
“In the desert someone
‘Get the road ready
for the Lord!
Make a straight path
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.
5 From Jerusalem and all Judea and from the Jordan River Valley crowds of people went to John. 6 They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the river.
7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees also came to be baptized. But John said to them:
You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? 8 Do something to show that you have really given up your sins. 9 And don’t start telling yourselves that you belong to Abraham’s family. I tell you that God can turn these stones into children for Abraham. 10 An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into a fire.
11 I baptize you with water so that you will give up your sins.[i] But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals.[j] He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His threshing fork is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks.[k] He will store the wheat in a barn and burn the husks in a fire that never goes out.
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?”
15 Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed.
16 So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.”
Jesus and the Devil
4 The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. 2 After Jesus had gone without eating[l] for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. 3 Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:
‘No one can live only on food.
People need every word
that God has spoken.’”
5 Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. 6 The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say:
‘God will give his angels
orders about you.
They will catch you
in their arms,
and you won’t hurt
your feet on the stones.’”
7 Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’”
8 Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. 9 The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say:
‘Worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.
Jesus Begins His Work
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went to Galilee. 13 But instead of staying in Nazareth, Jesus moved to Capernaum. This town was beside Lake Galilee in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali.[m] 14 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said,
15 “Listen, lands of Zebulun
lands along the road
to the sea
of the Jordan!
land of the Gentiles!
16 Although your people
live in darkness,
they will see
a bright light.
Although they live
in the shadow of death,
a light will shine
17 Then Jesus started preaching, “Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.”[n]
Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen
18 While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. 19 Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 20 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.
21 Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. 22 Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.
Jesus Teaches, Preaches, and Heals
23 Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God’s kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people with every kind of sickness or disease were brought to him. Some of them had a lot of demons in them, others were thought to be crazy,[o] and still others could not walk. But Jesus healed them all.
25 Large crowds followed Jesus from Galilee and the region around the ten cities known as Decapolis.[p] They also came from Jerusalem, Judea, and from across the Jordan River.
- 1.19 good man: Or “kind man,” or “man who always did the right thing.”
- 1.21 name him Jesus: In Hebrew the name “Jesus” means “the Lord saves.”
- 2.1 wise men: People famous for studying the stars.
- 2.2 his star in the east: Or “his star rise.”
- 2.11 frankincense, and myrrh: Frankincense was a valuable powder that was burned to make a sweet smell. Myrrh was a valuable sweet-smelling powder often used in perfume.
- 2.23 He will be called a Nazarene: The prophet who said this is not known.
- 3.2 kingdom of heaven: In the Gospel of Matthew “kingdom of heaven” is used with the same meaning as “God’s kingdom” in Mark and Luke.
- 3.2 will soon be here: Or “is already here.”
- 3.11 so that you will give up your sins: Or “because you have given up your sins.”
- 3.11 carry his sandals: This was one of the duties of a slave.
- 3.12 His threshing fork is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks: After Jewish farmers had trampled out the grain, they used a large fork to pitch the grain and the husks into the air. Wind would blow away the light husks, and the grain would fall back to the ground, where it could be gathered up.
- 4.2 without eating: The Jewish people sometimes went without eating (also called “fasting”) to show their love for God or to show sorrow for their sins.
- 4.13 Zebulun and Naphtali: In Old Testament times these tribes were in northern Palestine, and in New Testament times many Gentiles lived where these tribes had once been.
- 4.17 The kingdom of heaven will soon be here: See the two notes at 3.2.
- 4.24 thought to be crazy: In ancient times people with epilepsy were thought to be crazy.
- 4.25 the ten cities known as Decapolis: A group of ten cities east of Samaria and Galilee, where the people followed the Greek way of life.