(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
Jesus is born
- Now in those days, it happened that an edict went out from Caesar Augustus to register all of the inhabited world.1“inhabited world” is one word in Greek, and is more literally “the world inhabited by Romans”. This Greek word originally referred to those who lived in Greece, excluding all others. Later – after they were absorbed into the Roman Empire – it came to mean those who lived in the Roman Empire, excluding those outside it. However, it’s occasionally used in a broader context to mean the entire inhabited world.
- This was the first registration that happened while Quirinius is governing Syria.
- And all were going to be registered, each man to his own city.
- And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth into Judea, into the city of David which is called Bethlehem because he’s from David’s house and lineage,
- to register with Mary, the woman who was *betrothed to him, her being pregnant.
- And while they are there, it happened that the days for her to give birth were completed.
- And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there wasn’t a place for them in the inn.
Shepherds and angels
- And some shepherds were in the same region, spending the night in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
- And an angel of the Lord stood over them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were frightened with great fear.
- And the angel told them: “Don’t fear, for behold; I am proclaiming good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people,
- “because a savior was born for you today in David’s city, who is the Anointed, the Lord.
- “And this will be the sign for you: you will find a baby *wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
- And suddenly, a multitude of the heavenly army was with the angel, praising God and saying:
- “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among the men who please Him.2“who please Him” is literally “of His good pleasure” or “of His delight”, and such good pleasure is caused by living lives that are pleasing to Him. It should be noted that grammatically in Greek, the peace is only wished on those “who please Him”, and not on all men generally.
- And it happened that when the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds were saying to one another: “We should definitely go as far as Bethlehem and see this thing which happened, which the Lord made known to us!”
- And having hastened, they went and found both Mary and Joseph, and also the baby lying in the manger.
- And having seen this, they made it known about the matter which was spoken to them concerning this child.
- And all the men who heard marveled concerning the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds.
- But Mary was keeping all these matters to herself, pondering them in her heart.
- And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God on account of all the things which they heard and saw, just as it was told to them.
Jesus in the temple as an infant
- And when the eight days before His circumcision3quotation/allusion to Leviticus 12:3 were completed, then His name was called Jesus; the name He was called by the angel before His conception in the womb.
- And when the days of their purification were completed according to the law of Moses,4quotation/allusion to Leviticus 12:4-6 they brought Him up into Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord,
- (just as it’s *written in the Lord’s law that: “Every male who opens a womb shall be called holy to the Lord“)5quotation/allusion to Numbers 3:13
- and to offer a sacrifice according to the things which have been spoken in the law of the Lord; a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.6quotation/allusion to Leviticus 12:8
- And behold, a man was in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
- And it was *revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he wasn’t to see death before he saw the Lord’s Anointed.
- And led by the Spirit, he also came into the temple when the parents of the child Jesus brought Him to do for Him according to the things which were customary under the law.
- And he welcomed Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said:
- “Master, now you are dismissing your slave in peace according to your word,
- “because my eyes saw your salvation
- “which you prepared in the sight of all peoples;
- “a light for the revelation to the gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel.”
- And His father and mother were marveling on account of the things which were said about Him.
- And Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Behold, this One is appointed for the ruin and resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign that’s hostilely disputed.
- “And also, a large sword will go through your own soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”
- And there was a prophetess; Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was greatly *advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her virginity ended.
- And she was a widow until 84 years old, who wasn’t departing from the Temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.
- And having been present at that hour, she was giving thanks to God and was speaking about Him to all the men who were expectantly waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
- And when they had accomplished all things according to the Lord’s law, they returned to Galilee, into their city Nazareth.
Jesus in the temple as a boy
- Now, the child was growing and was becoming strong, filling with wisdom, and God’s grace was upon Him.
- And His parents were traveling to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover.
- And when He became twelve years old, they go up according to the custom of the feast.
- And having finished the days of the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem during their return, but His parents didn’t know.
- And having thought Him to be in their caravan, they went a day’s journey and were carefully seeking Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
- And having not found Him, they returned to Jerusalem, carefully seeking Him.
- And it happened that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and questioning them.
- And all the men listening to Him were marveling on account of His understanding and answers.
- And having seen Him, they were dumbfounded. And His mother said to Him: “Child, why did you do this to us? Behold, your father and I were being tormented while we were seeking you.”
- And He said to them: “Why were you seeking Me? Hadn’t you known that it’s necessary for Me to be in My Father’s house?”
- And they didn’t understand the statement that He spoke to them.
- And He went down with them and came into Nazareth, and He was submitting Himself to them. And His mother was carefully keeping all these matters in her heart.
- And Jesus was advancing in wisdom, and maturity, and grace with God and men.
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