11-4 So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.
A Childless Couple Conceives
5-7 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
8-12 It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
13-15 But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God.
15-17 “He’ll drink neither wine nor beer. He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God.”
18 Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”
19-20 But the angel said, “I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of your son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—God’s time.”
21-22 Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn’t speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people.
23-25 When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.
A Virgin Conceives
26-28 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 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:
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.
29-33 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.
He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
35 The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
36-38 “And did you know 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,
Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.
Then the angel left her.
Blessed Among Women
39-45 Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,
You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!
46-55 And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home.
The Birth of John
57-58 When Elizabeth was full-term in her pregnancy, she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives, seeing that God had overwhelmed her with mercy, celebrated with her.
59-60 On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and were calling him Zachariah after his father. But his mother intervened: “No. He is to be called John.”
61-62 “But,” they said, “no one in your family is named that.” They used sign language to ask Zachariah what he wanted him named.
63-64 Asking for a tablet, Zachariah wrote, “His name is to be John.” That took everyone by surprise. Surprise followed surprise—Zachariah’s mouth was now open, his tongue loose, and he was talking, praising God!
65-66 A deep, reverential fear settled over the neighborhood, and in all that Judean hill country people talked about nothing else. Everyone who heard about it took it to heart, wondering, “What will become of this child? Clearly, God has his hand in this.”
67-79 Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham—
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.
And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
80 The child grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic debut in Israel.
1Ambiri anayesa kufotokoza nkhani ya zimene zinakwaniritsidwa pakati pathu, 2 monga mmene zinaperekedwera kwa ife ndi iwo amene anaona poyambirira ndi atumiki a mawu. 3 Popeza inenso ndafufuza mosamalitsa chilichonse kuyambira pachiyambi, zandikomera kukulemberani mwatsatanetsatane inu wolemekezeka Tiofilo, 4 kuti mudziwe bwinobwino zoona za zinthu zimene mwaphunzitsidwa.
Aneneratu za Kubadwa kwa Yohane Mʼbatizi
5 Mʼmasiku a Herode, mfumu ya Yudeya, kunali wansembe dzina lake Zakariya wa gulu la ansembe la Abiya; mkazi wake Elizabeti analinso wa fuko la Aaroni. 6 Onse awiri anali olungama pamaso pa Mulungu, ndipo amasunga malamulo ndi malangizo onse a Ambuye osalakwa konse. 7 Koma analibe ana chifukwa Elizabeti anali wosabereka; ndipo onse anali okalamba.
8 Nthawi yogwira ntchito yotumikira ansembe a gulu la Zekariya, Zekariya ankatumikira ngati wansembe pamaso pa Mulungu, 9 Zakariyayo anasankhidwa mwa maere, monga mwa mwambo wa unsembe, kupita mʼNyumba ya Ambuye kukafukiza lubani. 10 Ndipo nthawi yofukiza lubani itafika, gulu lonse lopembedza linkapemphera kunja.
11 Kenaka mngelo wa Ambuye anaonekera kwa iye, atayimirira ku dzanja lamanja la guwa lofukizira. 12 Zakariya ataona mngeloyo, anadzidzimuka ndipo anagwidwa ndi mantha. 13 Koma mngeloyo anati kwa iye: “Usachite mantha, Zakariya; pemphero lako lamveka. Mkazi wako Elizabeti adzakuberekera iwe mwana wamwamuna ndipo udzamutche dzina loti Yohane. 14 Ndipo adzakhala chimwemwe ndi chisangalalo kwa iwe, ndipo ambiri adzasangalala chifukwa cha kubadwa kwake, 15 chifukwa adzakhala wamkulu pamaso pa Ambuye. Iye sadzamwa vinyo kapena chakumwa choledzeretsa, ndipo adzazadzidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera kuyambira pa kubadwa. 16 Iye adzabweretsanso Aisraeli ambiri kwa Ambuye Mulungu wawo. 17 Ndipo iye adzabwera Ambuye asanabwere mu mzimu ndi mphamvu ya Eliya. Adzatembenuzira mitima ya abambo kwa ana awo ndi osamvera ku nzeru ya olungama, kuthandiza anthu kuti akonzekere kubwera kwa Ambuye.”
18 Zakariya anamufunsa mngeloyo kuti, “Kodi ndingatsimikize bwanji zimenezi? Ine ndine wokalamba ndipo mkazi wanga ali ndi zaka zambiri.”
19 Mngeloyo anayankha kuti, “Ine ndine Gabrieli. Ndimayima pamaso pa Mulungu, ndipo ndatumidwa kwa iwe kudzakuwuza uthenga wabwinowu. 20 Ndipo kuyambira tsopano sudzatha kuyankhula kufikira izi zitachitika chifukwa sunakhulupirire mawu awa, amene adzakwaniritsidwe pa nthawi yake yoyenera.”
21 Pa nthawiyi, anthu ankadikira Zakariya ndipo anadabwa chifukwa anatenga nthawi yayitali ali mʼNyumba ya Mulungu. 22 Atatuluka sanathe kuyankhulana nawo. Anazindikira kuti anaona masomphenya mʼNyumbamo, chifukwa ankasonyeza zizindikiro kwa iwo koma sankatha kuyankhula.
23 Nthawi yake yotumikira itatha, anabwerera kwawo. 24 Zitatha izi, mkazi wake Elizabeti anakhala ndi pakati ndipo anadzibisa kwa miyezi isanu. 25 Iye anati, “Ambuye wandichitira izi, kuti mʼmasiku ano wandionetsera kukoma mtima kwake ndi kuchotsa manyazi anga pakati pa anthu.”
Aneneratu za Kubadwa kwa Yesu
26 Mwezi wachisanu ndi chimodzi, Mulungu anatuma mngelo Gabrieli ku Nazareti, mudzi wa ku Galileya, 27 kwa namwali wopalidwa ubwenzi ndi Yosefe, wa fuko la Davide. Dzina la namwaliyo linali Mariya. 28 Mngeloyo anafika kwa iye nati, “Moni, inu amene Ambuye wakukomerani mtima kwambiri! Ambuye ali ndi inu.”
29 Mariya anavutika kwambiri ndi mawu awa ndipo anadabwa ndi kulonjera kotere. 30 Koma mngeloyo anati kwa iye, “Usachite mantha Mariya, pakuti wapeza chisomo pamaso Mulungu. 31 Udzakhala woyembekezera ndipo udzabala mwana wamwamuna ndipo udzamupatse dzina loti Yesu. 32 Iye adzakhala wamkulu ndipo adzatchedwa Mwana wa Wammwambamwamba. Ambuye Mulungu adzamupatsa Iye mpando waufumu wa abambo ake Davide, 33 ndipo adzalamulira pa nyumba ya Yakobo ku nthawi zonse; ufumu wake sudzatha.”
34 Mariya anafunsa mngeloyo kuti, “Izi zingatheke bwanji popeza ine sindidziwa mwamuna?”
35 Mngelo anayankha kuti, “Mzimu Woyera adzabwera pa iwe ndipo mphamvu ya Wammwambamwamba idzakuphimba, ndipo Woyerayo amene adzabadwe adzatchedwa Mwana wa Mulungu. 36 Ngakhale Elizabeti mʼbale wako adzakhala ndi mwana mu ukalamba wake ndipo iye amene amati ndi wosabereka, uno mwezi wake wachisanu ndi chimodzi. 37 Pakuti palibe chinthu chosatheka ndi Mulungu.”
38 Mariya anayankha kuti, “Ine ndine mtumiki wa Ambuye. Zikhale kwa ine monga mwanenera.”
Mariya Acheza kwa Elizabeti
39 Nthawi imeneyo anakonzeka ndipo anapita mofulumira ku mudzi wa ku mapiri a dziko la Yudeya, 40 kumene anakalowa mʼnyumba ya Zakariya nalonjera Elizabeti. 41 Elizabeti atamva moni wa Mariya, mwana anatakataka mʼmimba mwake, ndipo Elizabeti anadzazidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera. 42 Anafuwula ndi mawu akulu kuti, “Ndiwe wodala pakati pa akazi, ndipo ndi wodala mwana amene udzabereke! 43 Koma nʼchifukwa chiyani andikomera mtima kuti amayi a Ambuye anga abwere kwa ine? 44 Nthawi yomwe ndinamva mawu akulonjera kwanu, mwana anatakataka mʼmimba mwanga chifukwa cha chimwemwe. 45 Wodala iye amene wakhulupirira kuti chimene Ambuye wanena kwa iye chidzakwaniritsidwa!”
Nyimbo ya Mariya
46 Ndipo Mariya anati:
“Moyo wanga ulemekeza Ambuye.
47 Ndipo mzimu wanga ukondwera mwa Mulungu Mpulumutsi wanga,
48 pakuti wakumbukira
kudzichepetsa kwa mtumiki wake.
Kuyambira tsopano mibado yonse idzanditcha wodala,
49 pakuti Wamkuluyo wandichitira ine zinthu zazikulu,
dzina lake ndi loyera.
50 Chifundo chake chifikira kwa iwo amene amuopa Iye
51 Iye wachita zamphamvu ndi dzanja lake;
Iye anabalalitsa iwo amene ali onyada mʼmaganizo awo.
52 Iye anachotsa olamulira pa mipando yawo yaufumu,
koma wakweza odzichepetsa.
53 Iye wakhutitsa a njala ndi zinthu zabwino
koma anachotsa olemera wopanda kanthu.
54 Iye anathandiza mtumiki wake Israeli,
pokumbukira chifundo chake.
55 Kwa Abrahamu ndi zidzukulu zake ku nthawi zonse
monga ananena kwa makolo athu.”
56 Mariya anakhala ndi Elizabeti pafupifupi miyezi itatu ndipo kenaka anabwerera kwawo.
Kubadwa kwa Yohane Mʼbatizi
57 Itakwana nthawi yoti Elizabeti abereke, anabereka mwana wamwamuna. 58 Anansi ndi abale ake anamva kuti Ambuye anamuchitira chifundo chachikulu ndipo anakondwera naye pamodzi.
59 Pa tsiku lachisanu ndi chitatu anabwera ndi mwana kuti adzachitidwe mdulidwe, ndipo anafuna kumupatsa dzina la abambo ake Zakariya, 60 koma amayi ake anayankhula nati, “Ayi, atchulidwe kuti Yohane.”
61 Iwo anati kwa iye, “Palibe mmodzi mwa abale ake amene ali ndi dzina limeneli.”
62 Pamenepo anapanga zizindikiro kwa abambo ake kuti adziwe dzina limene akanakonda kumutcha mwanayo. 63 Iye anapempha poti alembepo, ndipo chodabwitsa kwa aliyense analemba kuti, “Dzina lake ndi Yohane.” 64 Nthawi yomweyo pakamwa pake panatsekuka ndi lilime lake linamasuka ndipo anayamba kuyankhula, nayamika Mulungu. 65 Anansi onse anachita mantha kwambiri, ndipo ku madera onse a kumapiri a Yudeya, anthu anayankhula zinthu zonsezi. 66 Aliyense amene anamva izi anadabwa nazo nafunsa kuti, “Kodi mwana uyu adzakhala wotani?” Pakuti dzanja la Ambuye lili pa iye.
Nyimbo ya Zakariya
67 Abambo ake, Zakariya, anadzazidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera ndipo ananenera kuti,
68 “Alemekezeke Ambuye, Mulungu wa Israeli
chifukwa wabwera ndi kuwombola anthu ake.
69 Iye wakweza nyanga yachipulumutso kwa ife
mu nyumba ya mtumiki wake Davide.
70 (Monga mmene ananenera kudzera mwa aneneri oyera),
71 chipulumutso kuchoka kwa adani athu
ndi kuchoka mʼdzanja la onse otida,
72 kuonetsa chifundo kwa makolo athu
ndi kukumbukira pangano lake loyera,
73 lumbiro limene analumbira kwa kholo lathu Abrahamu:
74 kutilanditsa ife mʼdzanja la adani athu,
ndi kutipanga ife timutumikire Iye mopanda mantha,
75 mʼchiyero ndi mʼchilungamo masiku athu onse.
76 “Ndipo iwe mwana wanga udzatchedwa mneneri wa Wammwambamwamba;
pakuti udzapita patsogolo pa Ambuye kukonza njira yake,
77 kupatsa anthu ake chidziwitso cha chipulumutso
kudzera mwa chikhululukiro cha machimo awo,
78 chifukwa cha chifundo chachikulu cha Mulungu wathu,
ndipo kuwala kwa dzuwa kudzafikira ife kuchokera kumwamba,
79 kuwalira iwo okhala mu mdima
ndi mu mthunzi wa imfa,
kutsogolera mapazi athu mu njira yamtendere.”
80 Ndipo mwanayo anakula nakhala wamphamvu mu mzimu; ndipo anakhala ku chipululu mpaka pamene anaonekera poyera mu Israeli.