What The Bible Says About The Conception By Spiritual Means Of Jesus Christ, His Birth And Early Life, And The Events Leading Up To It
Note: This page mentions the miracles of Jesus near the end. Anyone who doesn't believe they really happened can still gain something from reading the stories. Both those who do believe they happened and those who don't believe they happened can take inspiration from them, since the stories demonstrate a compassion for the less fortunate that we'd do well to emulate, in whatever way it's possible. After all, the essence of Jesus' message was that people should be compassionate towards each other. You can read stories about ordinary human acts of caring in the face of adversity here, where the spirit of the compassion of Jesus is exemplified: Stories About Acts of Kindness, Caring, Generosity, Courage, and Regrets for Insensitivity.
Malachi chapter 4 (NLT)
1 The LORD Almighty says, "The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. The arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw on that day. They will be consumed like a tree - roots and all. 2 "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet," says the LORD Almighty.
5 "Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse."
Luke chapter 1 (TEV)
5 During the time when Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife's name was Elizabeth; she also belonged to a priestly family. 6 They both lived good lives in God's sight and obeyed fully all the Lord's laws and commands. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth could not have any, and she and Zechariah were both very old.
8 One day Zechariah was doing his work as a priest in the Temple, taking his turn in the daily service. 9 According to the custom followed by the priests, he was chosen by lot to burn incense on the altar. So he went into the Temple of the Lord, 10 while the crowd of people outside prayed during the hour when the incense was burned.
11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar where the incense was burned. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was alarmed and felt afraid. 13 But the angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. You are to name him John.
14 How glad and happy you will be, and how happy many others will be when he is born! 15 John will be great in the Lord's sight. He must not drink any wine or strong drink. From his very birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, 16 and he will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will go ahead of the Lord, strong and mighty like the prophet Elijah. He will bring fathers and children together again; he will turn disobedient people back to the way of thinking of the righteous; he will get the Lord's people ready for him."
18 Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know if this is so? I am an old man, and my wife is old also."
19 "I am Gabriel," the angel answered. "I stand in the presence of God, who sent me to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 But you have not believed my message, which will come true at the right time. Because you have not believed, you will be unable to speak; you will remain silent until the day my promise to you comes true." 21 In the meantime the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he was spending such a long time in the Temple.
22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and so they knew that he had seen a vision in the Temple. Unable to say a word, he made signs to them with his hands. 23 When his period of service in the Temple was over, Zechariah went back home. 24 Some time later his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and did not leave the house for five months. 25 "Now at last the Lord has helped me," she said. "He has taken away my public disgrace!"
Luke chapter 1 (NLT)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
30 "Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! 31 You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"
34 Mary asked the angel, "But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin." 35 The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What's more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she's already in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God."
38 Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." And then the angel left.
39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary's greeting, Elizabeth's child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, "You are blessed by God above all other women, and your child is blessed. 43 What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me! 44 When you came in and greeted me, my baby jumped for joy the instant I heard your voice! 45 You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what he said." 56 Mary stayed about three months with Elizabeth and then went back to her own home.
Luke chapter 1 (TEV)
57 The time came for Elizabeth to have her baby, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard how wonderfully good the Lord had been to her, and they all rejoiced with her.
59 When the baby was a week old, they came to circumcise him, and they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But his mother said, "No! His name is to be John." 61 They said to her, "But you don't have any relative with that name!" 62 Then they made signs to his father, asking him what name he would like the boy to have. 63 Zechariah asked for a writing pad and wrote, "His name is John." How surprised they all were!
64 At that moment Zechariah was able to speak again, and he started praising God. 65 The neighbors were all filled with fear, and the news about these things spread through all the hill country of Judea. 66 Everyone who heard of it thought about it and asked, "What is this child going to be?" For it was plain that the Lord's power was upon him.
67 John's father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he spoke God's message:
68 "Let us praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to the help of his people and has set them free. 69 He has provided for us a mighty Savior, a descendant of his servant David. 76 "You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High God. You will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his road for him, 77 to tell his people that they will be saved by having their sins forgiven. 78 Our God is merciful and tender. He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us 79 and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace."
Matthew chapter 1 (TEV)
18 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. 19 Joseph 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.
20 While 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." 22 Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, 23 "A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel" (which means, "God is with us").
24 So ... he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to. 25 But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Luke chapter 2 (GWT)
1 At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All the people went to register in the cities where their ancestors had lived. 4 So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of King David, went to Bethlehem because David had been born there. 5 Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn't any room for them in the inn.
8 Shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem. They were taking turns watching their flock during the night. 9 An angel from the Lord suddenly appeared to them. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them,
"Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. 11 Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David's city.
12 This is how you will recognize him: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly, a large army of angels appeared with the angel. They were praising God by saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those who have his good will!"
15 The angels left them and went back to heaven.
The shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger. 17 When they saw the child, they repeated what they had been told about him. 18 Everyone who heard the shepherds' story was amazed. 19 Mary treasured all these things in her heart and always thought about them.
20 As the shepherds returned to their flock, they glorified and praised God for everything they had seen and heard. Everything happened the way the angel had told them.
21 Eight days after his birth, the child was circumcised and named Jesus. This was the name the angel had given him before his mother became pregnant. 22 After the days required by Moses' Teachings to make a mother clean had passed, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem. They took Jesus to present him to the Lord. 23 They did exactly what was written in the Lord's Teachings: "Every firstborn boy is to be set apart as holy to the Lord." 24 They also offered a sacrifice as required by the Lord's Teachings: "a pair of mourning doves or two young pigeons."
25 A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He lived an honorable and devout life. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel. The Holy Spirit was with Simeon 26 and had told him that he wouldn't die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send. 27 Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses' Teachings required. 28 Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying, 29 "Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace as you promised. 30 My eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people to see. 32 He is a light that will reveal [salvation] to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel."
33 Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, "This child is the reason that many people in Israel will be condemned and many others will be saved. He will be a sign that will expose 35 the thoughts of those who reject him. And a sword will pierce your heart."
36 Anna, a prophet, was also there. She was a descendant of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was now very old. Her husband had died seven years after they were married, 37 and she had been a widow for 84 years. Anna never left the temple courtyard but worshiped day and night by fasting and praying. 38 At that moment she came up to Mary and Joseph and began to thank God. She spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for Jerusalem to be set free.
Micah chapter 5 (NLT)
2 You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.
Micah chapter 5 (TEV)
4 When he comes, he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself.
Matthew chapter 2 (CEV)
1When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem 2and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
3When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?"
5They 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.' "
7Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8He 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."
9The 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. 10They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
11When 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 and gave them to him. 12Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
13After 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."
14That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15where 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."
Matthew chapter 2 (TEV)
16 When 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 neighborhood 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.
17 In this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true: 18 "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."
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and 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."
21 So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Israel. 22 But 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."
Luke chapter 2 (NLT)
40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom beyond his years, and God placed his special favor upon him.
41 Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn't miss him at first, 44 because they assumed he was with friends among the other travelers. But when he didn't show up that evening, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they couldn't find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there.
46 Three days later they finally discovered him. He was in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, discussing deep questions with them. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 His parents didn't know what to think.
"Son!" his mother said to him. "Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere." 49 "But why did you need to search?" he asked. "You should have known that I would be in my Father's house." 50 But they didn't understand what he meant. 51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and his mother stored all these things in her heart. 52 So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him.
Luke Chapter 3 (TEV)
1 It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip was ruler of the territory of Iturea and Trachonitis; 2 and Annas and Caiaphas were High Priests. At that time the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 So John went throughout the whole territory of the Jordan River, preaching,
"Turn away from your sins and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins."
7 Crowds of people came out to John to be baptized by him.
15 People's hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah. 16 So John said to all of them, "I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 He has his winnowing shovel with him, to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out."
18 In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways. 19 But John reprimanded Governor Herod, because he had married Herodias, his brother's wife, and had done many other evil things. 20 Then Herod did an even worse thing by putting John in prison.
Mark chapter 1 (TEV)
14 After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God. 15 "The right time has come," he said, "and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!"
Luke chapter 3 (NLT)
23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.
Matthew chapter 4 (TEV)
13 He did not stay in Nazareth, but went to live in Capernaum, a town by Lake Galilee, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Matthew chapter 4 (NLT)
14 This fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy: 15 "In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River - in Galilee where so many Gentiles live - 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined." 17 From then on, Jesus began to preach, "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
Matthew chapter 9 (NIV)
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
Matthew chapter 9 (NLT)
36 ... because their problems were so great and they didn't know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.
Luke chapter 6 (TEV)
19 All the people tried to touch him, for power was going out from him and healing them all.
Matthew chapter 11 (TEV)
2 When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him.
3 "Tell us," they asked Jesus, "are you the one John said was going to come, or should we expect someone else?" 4 Jesus answered, "Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: 5 the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor.
7 While John's disciples were leaving, Jesus spoke about him to the crowds: "When you went out to John in the desert, what did you expect to see? A blade of grass bending in the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that live in palaces! 9 Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. 10 For John is the one of whom the scripture says: "God said, I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.' 13 Until the time of John all the prophets and the Law of Moses spoke about the Kingdom; 14 and if you are willing to believe their message, John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted.
Isaiah chapter 61 (TEV)
1 The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me To bring good news to the poor, To heal the broken-hearted, To announce release to captives And freedom to those in prison.
Luke chapter 4 (NLT)
14 Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit's power. Soon he became well known throughout the surrounding country. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll containing the messages of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, and he unrolled the scroll to the place where it says: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, 19 and that the time of the Lord's favor has come." 20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue stared at him intently. 21 Then he said, "This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!"
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|Or go directly to the next in the series: The Call By Jesus Of His Apostles, His Healing Of The Sick And Raising Of A Dead Son Back To Life, And His Teaching About God's Forgiveness And Wealth.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
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