Luke Writes an Orderly Report
1Many people have attempted to write about the things that have taken place among us. 2Reports of these things were handed down to us. There were people who saw these things for themselves from the beginning. They saw them and then passed the word on. 3With this in mind, I myself have carefully looked into everything from the beginning. So I also decided to write down an orderly report of exactly what happened. I am doing this for you, most excellent Theophilus. 4I want you to know that the things you have been taught are true.
The Coming Birth of John the Baptist
5Herod was king of Judea. During the time he was ruling, there was a priest named Zechariah. He belonged to a group of priests named after Abijah. His wife Elizabeth also came from the family line of Aaron. 6Both of them did what was right in the sight of God. They obeyed all the Lord’s commands and rules faithfully. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was not able to have any. And they were both very old.
8One day Zechariah’s group was on duty. He was serving as a priest in God’s temple. 9He happened to be chosen, in the usual way, to go into the temple of the Lord. There he was supposed to burn incense. 10The time came for this to be done. All who had gathered to worship were praying outside.
11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah. The angel was standing at the right side of the incense altar. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was amazed and terrified. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will have a child. It will be a boy, and you must call him John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you. His birth will make many people very glad. 15He will be important in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or other such drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will prepare the way for the Lord. He will have the same spirit and power that Elijah had. He will bring peace between parents and their children. He will teach people who don’t obey to be wise and do what is right. In this way, he will prepare a people who are ready for the Lord.”
18Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man, and my wife is old too.”
19The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I serve God. I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will have to be silent. You will not be able to speak until after John is born. That’s because you did not believe my words. They will come true at the time God has chosen.”
21During that time, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the temple. They wondered why he stayed there so long. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple. They knew this because he kept gesturing to them. He still could not speak.
23When his time of service was over, he returned home. 24After that, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant. She stayed at home for five months. 25“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days, he has been kind to me. He has taken away my shame among the people.”
The Coming Birth of Jesus
26In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. 27He was sent to a virgin. The girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel greeted her and said, “The Lord has blessed you in a special way. He is with you.”
29Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you. 31You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago. 33The Son of the Most High God will rule forever over his people. They are from the family line of Jacob. That kingdom will never end.”
34“How can this happen?” Mary asked the angel. “I am a virgin.”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. 36Your relative Elizabeth will have a child even though she is old. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. 37That’s because what God says will always come true.”
38“I serve the Lord,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me just as you said it would.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in Judea’s hill country. 40There she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby inside her jumped. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she called out, “God has blessed you more than other women. And blessed is the child you will have! 43But why is God so kind to me? Why has the mother of my Lord come to me? 44As soon as I heard the sound of your voice, the baby inside me jumped for joy. 45You are a woman God has blessed. You have believed that the Lord would keep his promises to you!”
“My soul gives glory to the Lord.
47My spirit delights in God my Savior.
48He has taken note of me
even though I am not considered important.
From now on all people will call me blessed.
49The Mighty One has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
50He shows his mercy to those who have respect for him,
from parent to child down through the years.
51He has done mighty things with his powerful arm.
He has scattered those who are proud in their deepest thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones.
But he has lifted up people who are not considered important.
53He has filled with good things those who are hungry.
But he has sent away empty those who are rich.
54He has helped the people of Israel, who serve him.
He has always remembered to be kind
55to Abraham and his children down through the years.
He has done it just as he promised to our people of long ago.”
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months. Then she returned home.
John the Baptist Is Born
57The time came for Elizabeth to have her baby. She gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very kind to her. They shared her joy.
59On the eighth day, they came to have the child circumcised. They were going to name him Zechariah, like his father. 60But his mother spoke up. “No!” she said. “He must be called John.”
61They said to her, “No one among your relatives has that name.”
62Then they motioned to his father. They wanted to find out what he would like to name the child. 63He asked for something to write on. Then he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was amazed. 64Right away Zechariah could speak again. Right away he praised God. 65All his neighbors were filled with fear and wonder. Throughout Judea’s hill country, people were talking about all these things. 66Everyone who heard this wondered about it. And because the Lord was with John, they asked, “What is this child going to be?”
67John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit. He prophesied,
68“Give praise to the Lord, the God of Israel!
He has come to his people and purchased their freedom.
69He has acted with great power and has saved us.
He did it for those who are from the family line of his servant David.
70Long ago holy prophets said he would do it.
71He has saved us from our enemies.
We are rescued from all who hate us.
72He has been kind to our people of long ago.
He has remembered his holy covenant.
73He made a promise to our father Abraham.
74He promised to save us from our enemies.
Then we could serve him without fear.
75He wants us to be holy and godly as long as we live.
76“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High God.
You will go ahead of the Lord to prepare the way for him.
77You will tell his people how they can be saved.
You will tell them that their sins can be forgiven.
78All of that will happen because our God is tender and caring.
His kindness will bring the rising sun to us from heaven.
79It will shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
It will guide our feet on the path of peace.”
80The child grew up, and his spirit became strong. He lived in the desert until he appeared openly to Israel.
1Kwa kuwa watu wengi wamekaa ili kuandika habari za mambo yaliyotukia katikati yetu, 21:2 Mk 1:1; Mdo 1:21-22; 2Pet 1:16; 1Yn 1:1; Mk 4:14kama vile yalivyokabidhiwa kwetu na wale waliokuwa mashahidi walioyaona na watumishi wa Bwana, 31:3 Mdo 11:4; 24:3; 26:25; 1:1mimi nami baada ya kuchunguza kila kitu kwa uangalifu kuanzia mwanzo, niliamua kukuandikia habari za mambo hayo, ewe mtukufu Theofilo, 41:4 Yn 20:31; Mdo 2:42ili upate kujua ukweli kuhusu yale uliyofundishwa.
Kuzaliwa Kwa Yohana Mbatizaji Kwatabiriwa
51:5 1Nya 24:10; Mt 2:1Wakati wa Herode mfalme wa Uyahudi, palikuwa na kuhani mmoja jina lake Zekaria, ambaye alikuwa wa ukoo wa kikuhani wa Abiya. Elizabeti mkewe alikuwa pia mzao wa Aroni. 61:6 Kum 5:33; Lk 2:25Zekaria na Elizabeti mkewe wote walikuwa watu wanyofu mbele za Mungu, wakizishika amri zote za Bwana na maagizo yote bila lawama. 7Lakini walikuwa hawana watoto, kwa sababu Elizabeti alikuwa tasa; nao wote wawili walikuwa wazee sana.
81:8 1Nya 24:19; 2Nya 8:14Siku moja ilipokuwa zamu ya kikundi cha Zekaria, yeye akifanya kazi ya ukuhani Hekaluni mbele za Mungu, 91:9 2Nya 29:11; Za 141:2alichaguliwa kwa kura kwa kufuata desturi za ukuhani, kuingia Hekaluni mwa Bwana ili kufukiza uvumba. 101:10 Law 16:17Nao wakati wa kufukiza uvumba ulipowadia, wale wote waliokuwa wamekusanyika ili kuabudu walikuwa nje wakiomba.
111:11 Mdo 5:19; Kut 30:1-10Ndipo malaika wa Bwana, akiwa amesimama upande wa kuume wa madhabahu ya kufukizia uvumba, akamtokea Zekaria. 121:12 Amu 6:22-23; 13:22Zekaria alipomwona huyo malaika, akafadhaika sana, akajawa na hofu. 131:13 Mt 14:27; 3:1; Lk 1:60-63Lakini malaika akamwambia, “Usiogope, Zekaria, kwa maana Mungu amesikia maombi yako. Mkeo Elizabeti atakuzalia mtoto wa kiume, nawe utamwita jina lake Yohana. 141:14 Lk 1:58Yeye atakuwa furaha na shangwe kwako, nao watu wengi watashangilia kwa sababu ya kuzaliwa kwake. 151:15 Law 10:9; Lk 7:33; Yer 1:5; Gal 1:15Kwa kuwa atakuwa mkuu mbele za Bwana, kamwe hataonja mvinyo wala kinywaji chochote cha kulevya, naye atajazwa Roho Mtakatifu hata kabla ya kuzaliwa kwake. 161:16 Mal 4:5, 6Naye atawageuza wengi wa wana wa Israeli warudi kwa Bwana Mungu wao. 171:17 Mt 11:14; Mal 4:4-6Naye atatangulia mbele za Bwana katika roho na nguvu ya Eliya, ili kuigeuza mioyo ya baba kuwaelekea watoto wao, na wasiotii warejee katika hekima ya wenye haki, ili kuliweka tayari taifa lililoandaliwa kwa ajili ya Bwana.”
181:18 Mwa 17:17Zekaria akamuuliza malaika, “Jambo hilo linawezekanaje? Mimi ni mzee na mke wangu pia ana umri mkubwa.”
191:19 Mt 18:10; Lk 1:26Malaika akamjibu, akamwambia, “Mimi ni Gabrieli, nisimamaye mbele za Mungu, nami nimetumwa kwako ili nikuambie habari hizi njema. 201:20 Kut 4:11; Eze 3:26Basi sasa kwa kuwa hujaamini maneno yangu ambayo yatatimizwa kwa wakati wake, utakuwa bubu hadi siku ile mambo haya yatakapotukia.”
21Wakati huo watu walikuwa wanamngojea Zekaria nje huku wakishangaa kukawia kwake mle Hekaluni. 221:22 Lk 1:62Alipotoka akawa hawezi kusema nao, wao wakatambua kuwa ameona maono ndani ya Hekalu. Lakini kwa kuwa alikuwa bubu, akawa anawaashiria kwa mikono.
231:23 2Fal 11:5Muda wake wa kuhudumu Hekaluni ulipomalizika, akarudi nyumbani kwake. 24Baada ya muda usio mrefu, Elizabeti mkewe akapata mimba, naye akajitenga kwa miezi mitano.
251:25 Mwa 30:23; Isa 4:1Akasema, “Hili ndilo Bwana alilonitendea aliponiangalia kwa upendeleo na kuniondolea aibu yangu mbele ya watu.”
Kuzaliwa Kwa Yesu Kwatabiriwa
261:26 Lk 1:62; Mt 2:23Mwezi wa sita baada ya Elizabeti kupata mimba, Mungu alimtuma malaika Gabrieli aende Galilaya katika mji wa Nazareti, 271:27 Mt 1:16-20; Lk 2:4kwa mwanamwali bikira aliyekuwa ameposwa na mtu mmoja jina lake Yosefu wa nyumba ya Daudi. Jina la huyu mwanamwali bikira ni Maria. 281:28 Amu 5:24Naye malaika akaja kwake akamwambia: “Salamu, wewe uliyebarikiwa, Bwana yu pamoja nawe!”
291:29 Lk 1:12Maria akafadhaishwa sana na maneno haya, akajiuliza moyoni, “Salamu hii ni ya namna gani?” 301:30 Mt 14:27Ndipo malaika akamwambia, “Usiogope, Maria, umepata kibali kwa Mungu. 311:31 Isa 7:14; Mt 1:21-25Tazama, utachukua mimba, nawe utamzaa mtoto mwanaume na utamwita jina lake Yesu. 321:32 Mk 5:7Yeye atakuwa mkuu, naye ataitwa Mwana wa Aliye Juu Sana. Bwana Mungu atampa kiti cha enzi cha Daudi baba yake. 331:33 Mt 28:18; 2Sam 7:16; Ebr 1:8Ataimiliki nyumba ya Yakobo milele, na ufalme wake hautakuwa na mwisho.”
34Maria akamuuliza huyo malaika, “Maadamu mimi ni bikira, jambo hili litawezekanaje?”
351:35 Mt 1:18; 4:3; Mk 1:24Malaika akamjibu, “Roho Mtakatifu atakujilia juu yako, nazo nguvu zake Yeye Aliye Juu Sana zitakufunika kama kivuli. Kwa hiyo mtoto atakayezaliwa atakuwa mtakatifu, naye ataitwa Mwana wa Mungu. 361:36 Lk 1:24Tazama, jamaa yako Elizabeti amechukua mimba katika uzee wake, na huu ni mwezi wake wa sita, yeye aliyeitwa tasa. 371:37 Mt 19:26; Mwa 18:14; Zek 8:6; Mt 18:26; Mk 10:27; Rum 4:21Kwa maana kwa Mungu hakuna lisilowezekana.”
38Maria akasema, “Tazama, mimi ni mtumishi wa Bwana. Na iwe kwangu kama ulivyosema.” Kisha malaika akaondoka, akamwacha.
Maria Aenda Kumtembelea Elizabeti
391:39 Lk 1:65; Yos 21:9, 10, 11Wakati huo Maria akajiandaa, akaharakisha kwenda katika mji mmoja kwenye vilima vya Uyahudi. 40Akaingia nyumbani kwa Zekaria na kumsalimu Elizabeti. 411:41 Lk 1:15; Mwa 25; 22Naye Elizabeti aliposikia salamu ya Maria, mtoto aliyekuwa tumboni mwake akaruka. Elizabeti akajazwa na Roho Mtakatifu, 421:42 Amu 5:24akapaza sauti kwa nguvu akasema, “Umebarikiwa wewe miongoni mwa wanawake, naye mtoto utakayemzaa amebarikiwa. 431:43 Yn 13:13Lakini ni kwa nini mimi nimepata upendeleo kiasi hiki, hata mama wa Bwana wangu afike kwangu? 44Mara tu niliposikia sauti ya salamu yako, mtoto aliyeko tumboni mwangu aliruka kwa furaha. 451:45 Lk 1:20; 11:28Amebarikiwa yeye aliyeamini kwamba lile Bwana alilomwambia litatimizwa.”
Wimbo Wa Maria Wa Sifa
461:46 Za 34:2-3Naye Maria akasema:
“Moyo wangu wamwadhimisha Bwana,
471:47 Za 18:46; 1Tim 4:10nayo roho yangu inamfurahia
Mungu Mwokozi wangu,
481:48 Za 138:5; Lk 11:27kwa kuwa ameangalia kwa fadhili
unyonge wa mtumishi wake.
Hakika tangu sasa vizazi vyote vitaniita aliyebarikiwa,
491:49 Za 71:19; 111:9kwa maana yeye Mwenye Nguvu
amenitendea mambo ya ajabu:
jina lake ni takatifu.
501:50 Kut 20:6; Za 103:17Rehema zake huwaendea wale wamchao,
kutoka kizazi hadi kizazi.
511:51 Za 98:1; Isa 40:10Kwa kuwa ametenda mambo ya ajabu kwa mkono wake;
amewatawanya wale wenye kiburi
ndani ya mioyo yao.
521:52 Mt 23:12; 1Sam 2:6; Ay 5:11; Za 11:3, 6Amewashusha watawala toka kwenye viti vyao vya enzi,
lakini amewainua wanyenyekevu.
531:53 Za 107:9; 1Sam 3:5Amewashibisha wenye njaa kwa vitu vizuri,
bali matajiri amewafukuza mikono mitupu.
541:54 Za 98:3Amemsaidia mtumishi wake Israeli,
kwa kukumbuka ahadi yake ya kumrehemu
551:55 Za 132:11; Gal 3:16Abrahamu na uzao wake milele,
kama alivyowaahidi baba zetu.”
56Maria akakaa na Elizabeti karibu miezi mitatu, kisha akarudi nyumbani kwake.
Kuzaliwa Kwa Yohana Mbatizaji
57Ulipowadia wakati wa Elizabeti kujifungua, alizaa mtoto mwanaume. 581:58 Lk 1:14Majirani zake na jamii zake wakasikia jinsi Bwana alivyomfanyia rehema kuu, nao wakafurahi pamoja naye.
591:59 Law 12:3; Flp 3:5Siku ya nane wakaja kumtahiri mtoto, wakataka yule mtoto aitwe Zekaria, ambalo ndilo jina la baba yake. 601:60 Lk 1:13, 63; Mt 3:1Lakini mama yake akakataa na kusema, “Hapana! Jina lake ataitwa Yohana.”
61Wakamwambia, “Hakuna mtu yeyote katika jamaa yako mwenye jina kama hilo.”
621:62 Lk 1:22Basi wakamfanyia Zekaria baba yake ishara ili kujua kwamba yeye angependa kumpa mtoto jina gani. 631:63 Lk 1:13, 60; Mt 3:1Akaomba wampe kibao cha kuandikia na kwa mshangao wa kila mtu akaandika: “Jina lake ni Yohana.” 641:64 Lk 1:20; Eze 24:27Papo hapo kinywa chake kikafunguliwa na ulimi wake ukaachiwa, akawa anaongea akimsifu Mungu. 65Majirani wote wakajawa na hofu ya Mungu, na katika nchi yote ya vilima vya Uyahudi watu walikuwa wakinena juu ya mambo haya yote. 661:66 Mwa 39:2; Mdo 11:21Kila aliyesikia habari hizi alishangaa akauliza, “Je, mtoto huyu atakuwa mtu wa namna gani?” Maana mkono wa Bwana ulikuwa pamoja naye.
Unabii Wa Zekaria
671:67 Yoe 2:28Zekaria, baba yake, akajazwa na Roho Mtakatifu, naye akatoa unabii, akisema:
681:68 Mwa 24:27; 1Fal 8:15; Za 111:9; Lk 7:16“Ahimidiwe Bwana, Mungu wa Israeli,
kwa kuwa amewajilia watu wake na kuwakomboa.
691:69 2Sam 22:23; Za 132:17Naye ametusimamishia pembe1:69 Pembe hapa inamaanisha nguvu. ya wokovu
katika nyumba ya Daudi mtumishi wake,
701:70 Yer 23:3; Za 132:17kama alivyonena kwa vinywa vya manabii
wake watakatifu tangu zamani,
711:71 Za 106:10kwamba atatuokoa kutoka kwa adui zetu,
na kutoka mikononi mwao wote watuchukiao:
721:72 Mik 7:20; Za 106:45; Eze 16:60ili kuonyesha rehema kwa baba zetu
na kukumbuka Agano lake takatifu,
731:73 Mwa 22:16-18kiapo alichomwapia baba yetu Abrahamu:
741:74 Ebr 9:14kutuokoa kutoka mikononi mwa adui zetu,
tupate kumtumikia yeye pasipo hofu
751:75 Efe 4:24katika utakatifu na haki mbele zake,
siku zetu zote.
761:76 Mt 11:9; Mk 5:7; Mal 3:1; Mt 3:3“Nawe mtoto wangu, utaitwa nabii wa Aliye Juu Sana;
kwa kuwa utamtangulia Bwana
na kuandaa njia kwa ajili yake,
771:77 Yer 31:34; Mt 1:21kuwajulisha watu wake juu ya wokovu
utakaopatikana kwa kusamehewa dhambi zao,
781:78 Mal 4:2kwa ajili ya wingi wa rehema za Mungu wetu,
nuru itokayo juu itatuzukia
791:79 Za 107:14; Mdo 26:18ili kuwaangazia wale waishio gizani
na katika uvuli wa mauti,
kuiongoza miguu yetu katika njia ya amani.”
801:80 Lk 2:40, 52Yule mtoto akakua na kuongezeka nguvu katika roho; akaishi nyikani hadi siku ile alipojionyesha hadharani kwa Waisraeli.