Luke 2 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Birth of Jesus
2 At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order to all people in the countries that were under Roman rule. The order said that they must list their names in a register. 2 This was the first registration[a] taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone went to their own towns to be registered.
4 So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. This town was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him. (Mary was now pregnant.) 6 While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. 7 She gave birth to her first son. There were no rooms left in the inn. So she wrapped the baby with cloths and laid him in a box where animals are fed.
Some Shepherds Hear About Jesus
8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. 9 An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box.”
13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying:
14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
15 Then the angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord told us about.”
16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. 17 And the shepherds saw the baby lying in a feeding box. Then they told what the angels had said about this child. 18 Everyone was amazed when they heard what the shepherds said to them. 19 Mary hid these things in her heart; she continued to think about them. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.
21 When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name had been given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.
Jesus Is Presented in the Temple
22 The time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the law of Moses taught about being made pure.[c] They took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 It is written in the law of the Lord: “Give every firstborn male to the Lord.”[d] 24 Mary and Joseph also went to offer a sacrifice, as the law of the Lord says: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.”[e]
Simeon Sees Jesus
25 A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man and very religious. He was waiting for the time when God would help Israel. The Holy Spirit was in him. 26 The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ promised by the Lord. 27 The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple to do what the law said they must do. 28 Then Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God:
29 “Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant,
33 Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “Many in Israel will fall and many will rise because of this child. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept. 35 The things they think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.”
Anna Sees Jesus
36 Anna, a prophetess, was there at the Temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. 37 Then her husband died and she lived alone. She was now 84 years old. Anna never left the Temple. She worshiped God by going without food and praying day and night. 38 She was standing there at that time, thanking God. She talked about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.
Joseph and Mary Return Home
39 Joseph and Mary finished doing everything that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. 40 The little child began to grow up. He became stronger and wiser, and God’s blessings were with him.
Jesus As a Boy
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. 42 When Jesus was 12 years old, they went to the feast as they always did. 43 When the feast days were over, they went home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Joseph and Mary traveled for a whole day. They thought that Jesus was with them in the group. Then they began to look for him among their family and friends, 45 but they did not find him. So they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there. 46 After three days they found him. Jesus was sitting in the Temple with the religious teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and wise answers. 48 When Jesus’ parents saw him, they were amazed. His mother said to him, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you.”
49 Jesus asked, “Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be where my Father’s work is!” 50 But they did not understand the meaning of what he said.
51 Jesus went with them to Nazareth and obeyed them. His mother was still thinking about all that had happened. 52 Jesus continued to learn more and more and to grow physically. People liked him, and he pleased God.
Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
The Boy Jesus at the Temple
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.