The following excerpts are from The Message
by Eugene H. Peterson.
Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin
will get pregnant. She'll bear a son and name
him Immanuel (God-With-Us). The Message
For a child has been born-for us!
gift of a son-for us!
He'll take over
running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing, Counselor,
His ruling authority will grow,
there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He'll rule from the historic David throne
that promised kingdom.
He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing
keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
now and lasting always. The
Message Isa. 9:6,7
The birth of Jesus took place like this. The
Message Matt 1:18 God sent the angel
Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to
a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended
from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin's
name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
beautiful with God's beauty.
inside and out!
be with you.
She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was
behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured
her, "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God
has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant
and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
will be great,
called 'Son of the Highest.'
Lord God will give him
throne of his father David;
will rule Jacob's house forever-
end, ever, to his kingdom."
Mary said to the angel, "But how? I've never
slept with a man."
The angel answered,
Holy Spirit will come upon you,
power of the Highest hover over you;
the child you bring to birth
be called Holy, Son of God.
"And Bible Characters that your cousin Elizabeth
conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called
her barren, and here she is six months' pregnant!
Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."
And Mary said,
I see it all now:
the Lord's maid, ready to serve.
it be with me
as you say.
Then the angel left her. The
Message Luke 1:26-47
Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before
they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered
she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit,
but he didn't know that.) Joseph, chagrined but
noble, determined to take care of things quietly
so Mary would not be disgraced.
While he was trying to figure a way out, he had
a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: "Joseph,
son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's
pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit
has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to
birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name
him Jesus-'God saves'-because he will save his
people from their sins." This would bring
the prophet's embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this-a virgin will get pregnant and
bear a son;
They will name him Emmanuel (Hebrew for "God
is with us").
Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's
angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary.
But he did not consummate the marriage until she
had the baby. He named the baby Jesus. The
Message Matt 1:18-24
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census
to be taken throughout the Empire. Everyone had
to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be
accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean
town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's
town, for the census. As a descendant of David,
he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée,
who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her
to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn.
She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a
manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood.
They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly,
God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed
around them. They were terrified. The angel said,
"Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a
great and joyful event that is meant for everybody,
worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's
town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This
is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in
a blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic
choir singing God's praises:
to God in the heavenly heights,
to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the
sheepherders talked it over.
"Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we
can and see for ourselves what God has revealed
to us." They left, running, and found Mary
and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.
Seeing was believing. They told everyone they
met what the angels had said about this child.
All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding
them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders
returned and let loose, glorifying and praising
God for everything they had heard and seen. It
turned out exactly the way they'd been told! The
Message Luke 2:1-20
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah
territory-this was during Herod's kingship-a band
of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East.
They asked around, "Where can we find and
pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We
observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled
his birth. We're on pilgrimage to worship him."
When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was
terrified-and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem
as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the
high priests and religion scholars in the city
together and asked, "Where is the Messiah
supposed to be born?" They told him, "Bethlehem,
Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
you, Bethlehem, in Judah's land,
longer bringing up the rear.
you will come the leader
will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel."
Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the
scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout
as they were, he got them to tell him exactly
when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then
he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and
said, "Go find this child. Leave no stone
unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and
I'll join you at once in your worship."
Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the
star appeared again, the same star they had seen
in the eastern skies. It led them on until it
hovered over the place of the child. They could
hardly contain themselves: They were in the right
place! They had arrived at the right time!
They entered the house and saw the child in the
arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled
and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage
and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
In a dream, they were warned not to report back
to Herod. So they worked out another route, left
the territory without being seen, and returned
to their own country.
After the scholars were gone, God's angel showed
up again in Joseph's dream and commanded, "Get
up. Take the child and his mother and flee to
Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on
the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him."
Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and
his mother under cover of darkness. They were
out of town and well on their way by daylight.
They lived in Egypt until Herod's death. This
Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached:
"I called my son out of Egypt."
Herod, when he realized that the scholars had
tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the
murder of every little boy two years old and under
who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills.
(He determined that age from information he'd
gotten from the scholars.)
Later, when Herod died, God's angel appeared
in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: "Up, take
the child and his mother and return to Israel.
All those out to murder the child are dead."
Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and
his mother, and reentered Israel. When he heard,
though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father,
Herod , as king in Judea, he was afraid to go
there. But then Joseph was directed in a dream
to go to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he
settled in the village of Nazareth. This move
was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, "He
shall be called a Nazarene." The
Message Matt 2:1-23
The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices
in Heaven sang out,
kingdom of the world is now
Kingdom of our God and his Messiah!
will rule forever and ever! The Message Rev. 11:15
"Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE.
Copyright (c) by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994,
1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission
of NavPress Publishing Group."