Just at this time an edict was issued by Caesar Augustus for the registration of the whole Empire.
It was the first registration made during the governorship of Quirinius in Syria;
and all went to be registered--every one to the town to which he belonged.
So Joseph went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judaea, to David's town of Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to have himself registered together with Mary, who was betrothed to him and was with child.
But while they were there, her full time came,
and she gave birth to her first-born son, and wrapped Him round, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in the same part of the country, keeping watch over their sheep by night in the open fields,
when suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them; and they were filled with terror.
But the angel said to them, 'Put away all fear; for I am bringing you good news of great joy--joy for all the People.
For a Saviour who is the Anointed Lord is born to you to-day, in the town of David.
And this is the token for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.'
And immediately there was with the angel a multitude of the army of Heaven praising God and saying,
'Glory be to God in the highest Heavens, And on earth peace among men who please Him!'
Then, as soon as the angels had left them and returned to Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us now go over as far as Bethlehem and see this that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.'
So they made haste and came and found Mary and Joseph, with the babe lying in the manger.
And when they saw the child, they told what had been said to them about Him;
and all who listened were astonished at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured up all these things, often dwelling on them in her mind.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen in accordance with the announcement made to them.
When eight days had passed and the time for circumcising Him had come, He was called JESUS, the name given Him by the angel before His conception in the womb.
And when the days for their purification appointed by the Law of Moses had passed, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord--
as it is written in the Law of the Lord: 'Every first-born male shall be called holy to the Lord.'
During the passage He fell asleep, and there came down a squall of wind on the Lake, so that the boat began to fill and they were in deadly peril.
And they also offered a sacrifice as commanded in the Law of the Lord, 'a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.'
Now there was a man in Jerusalem of the name of Symeon, an upright and God-fearing man, who was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
To him it had been revealed by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he had seen the Lord's Anointed One.
Led by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do with regard to Him according to the custom of the Law,
he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
'Now, O Sovereign Lord, Thou dost send Thy servant away in peace, in fulfilment of Thy word,
Because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast made ready in the sight of all nations--
A light to shine upon the Gentiles, And the glory of Thy people Israel.'
And while the child's father and mother were wondering at the words of Symeon concerning Him,
Symeon blessed them and said to Mary the mother, 'This child is appointed for the falling and the uprising of many in Israel and for a token to be spoken against;
and a sword will pierce through your own soul also; that the reasonings in many hearts may be revealed.'
There was also Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, belonging to the tribe of Asher. She was of a very great age, having had after her maidenhood seven years of married life,
and then being a widow of eighty-four years. She was never absent from the Temple, but worshipped, by day and by night, with fasting and prayer.
And coming up just at that moment, she gave thanks to God, and spoke about the child to all who were expecting the deliverance of Jerusalem.
Then, as soon as they had accomplished all that the Law required, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong and full of wisdom, and the favour of God rested upon Him.
Now His parents used to go up year by year to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover.
And when He was twelve years old they went up as was customary at the time of the Feast, and,
after staying the full number of days, when they started back home the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not discover this,
but supposing Him to be in the travelling company, they proceeded a day's journey. Then they searched up and down for Him among their relatives and acquaintances;
but being unable to find Him they returned to Jerusalem, making anxious inquiry for Him.
On the third day they found Him in the Temple sitting among the Rabbis, both listening to them and asking them questions,
while all who heard Him were astonished at His intelligence and at the answers He gave.
When they saw Him, they were smitten with amazement, and His mother said to Him, 'My child, why have you behaved thus to us? Your father and I have been searching for you in anguish.'
'Why is it that you have been searching for me?' He replied; 'did you not know that it is my duty to be engaged upon my Father's business?'
But they did not understand the significance of these words.
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was always obedient to them; but His mother carefully treasured up all these incidents in her memory.
And as Jesus grew older He gained in both wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.