11This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham.
2-6aFrom Abraham to King David, the following ancestors are listed: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers; then Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.
From David to the time when the people of Israel were taken into exile in Babylon, the following ancestors are listed: David, Solomon (his mother was the woman who had been Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.
12-16From the time after the exile in Babylon to the birth of Jesus, the following ancestors are listed: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, who married Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called the Messiah.
17So then, there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, and fourteen from David to the exile in Babylon, and fourteen from then to the birth of the Messiah.
This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. 20While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. 21
She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus — because he will save his people from their sins.”
22Now all this happened in order to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, 23
“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
24So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to do. 25
But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.
21Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterwards, some men who studied the stars came from the east to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”
5“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they answered. “For this is what the prophet wrote:
‘Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
you are by no means the least of the leading cities of Judah;
for from you will come a leader
who will guide my people Israel.’ ”
7So Herod called the visitors from the east to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: “Go and make a careful search for the child, and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9-10And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the east. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 11They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.
12Then they returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.
13After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Herod will be looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.”
14Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, 15
where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
16When Herod realized that the visitors from the east had tricked him, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood who were two years old and younger — this was done in accordance with what he had learned from the visitors about the time when the star had appeared.
17In this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true:
“A sound is heard in Ramah,
the sound of bitter weeping.
Rachel is crying for her children;
she refuses to be comforted,
for they are dead.”
19After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the child are dead.” 21So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Israel.
22But when Joseph heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. He was given more instructions in a dream, so he went to the province of Galilee 23
and made his home in a town named Nazareth. And so what the prophets had said came true: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
31At that time John the Baptist came to the desert of Judah and started preaching. 2
“Turn away from your sins,” he said, “because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” 3
John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said:
“Someone is shouting in the desert,
‘Prepare a road for the Lord;
make a straight path for him to travel!’ ”
John's clothes were made of camel's hair; he wore a leather belt round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5People came to him from Jerusalem, from the whole province of Judea, and from all the country near the River Jordan. 6They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan.
When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to him to be baptized, he said to them, “You snakes — who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. 9
And don't think you can escape punishment by saying that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham! 10
The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire. 11I baptize you with water to show that you have repented, but the one who will come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He is much greater than I am; and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. 12He has his winnowing shovel with him to thresh out all the grain. He will gather his wheat into his barn, but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.”
13At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14But John tried to make him change his mind. “I ought to be baptized by you,” John said, “and yet you have come to me!”
15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.” So John agreed.
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him. 17
Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”