1Ambiri anayesa kufotokoza nkhani ya zimene zinakwaniritsidwa pakati pathu, 2monga mmene zinaperekedwera kwa ife ndi iwo amene anaona poyambirira ndi atumiki a mawu. 3Popeza inenso ndafufuza mosamalitsa chilichonse kuyambira pachiyambi, zandikomera kukulemberani mwatsatanetsatane inu wolemekezeka Tiofilo, 4kuti mudziwe bwinobwino zoona za zinthu zimene mwaphunzitsidwa.
Aneneratu za Kubadwa kwa Yohane Mʼbatizi
5Mʼmasiku a Herode, mfumu ya Yudeya, kunali wansembe dzina lake Zakariya wa gulu la ansembe la Abiya; mkazi wake Elizabeti analinso wa fuko la Aaroni. 6Onse awiri anali olungama pamaso pa Mulungu, ndipo amasunga malamulo ndi malangizo onse a Ambuye osalakwa konse. 7Koma analibe ana chifukwa Elizabeti anali wosabereka; ndipo onse anali okalamba.
8Nthawi yogwira ntchito yotumikira ansembe a gulu la Zekariya, Zekariya ankatumikira ngati wansembe pamaso pa Mulungu, 9Zakariyayo anasankhidwa mwa maere, monga mwa mwambo wa unsembe, kupita mʼNyumba ya Ambuye kukafukiza lubani. 10Ndipo nthawi yofukiza lubani itafika, gulu lonse lopembedza linkapemphera kunja.
11Kenaka mngelo wa Ambuye anaonekera kwa iye, atayimirira ku dzanja lamanja la guwa lofukizira. 12Zakariya ataona mngeloyo, anadzidzimuka ndipo anagwidwa ndi mantha. 13Koma mngeloyo anati kwa iye: “Usachite mantha, Zakariya; pemphero lako lamveka. Mkazi wako Elizabeti adzakuberekera iwe mwana wamwamuna ndipo udzamutche dzina loti Yohane. 14Ndipo adzakhala chimwemwe ndi chisangalalo kwa iwe, ndipo ambiri adzasangalala chifukwa cha kubadwa kwake, 15chifukwa adzakhala wamkulu pamaso pa Ambuye. Iye sadzamwa vinyo kapena chakumwa choledzeretsa, ndipo adzazadzidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera kuyambira pa kubadwa. 16Iye adzabweretsanso Aisraeli ambiri kwa Ambuye Mulungu wawo. 17Ndipo 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.”
18Zakariya anamufunsa mngeloyo kuti, “Kodi ndingatsimikize bwanji zimenezi? Ine ndine wokalamba ndipo mkazi wanga ali ndi zaka zambiri.”
19Mngeloyo anayankha kuti, “Ine ndine Gabrieli. Ndimayima pamaso pa Mulungu, ndipo ndatumidwa kwa iwe kudzakuwuza uthenga wabwinowu. 20Ndipo kuyambira tsopano sudzatha kuyankhula kufikira izi zitachitika chifukwa sunakhulupirire mawu awa, amene adzakwaniritsidwe pa nthawi yake yoyenera.”
21Pa nthawiyi, anthu ankadikira Zakariya ndipo anadabwa chifukwa anatenga nthawi yayitali ali mʼNyumba ya Mulungu. 22Atatuluka sanathe kuyankhulana nawo. Anazindikira kuti anaona masomphenya mʼNyumbamo, chifukwa ankasonyeza zizindikiro kwa iwo koma sankatha kuyankhula.
23Nthawi yake yotumikira itatha, anabwerera kwawo. 24Zitatha izi, mkazi wake Elizabeti anakhala ndi pakati ndipo anadzibisa kwa miyezi isanu. 25Iye anati, “Ambuye wandichitira izi, kuti mʼmasiku ano wandionetsera kukoma mtima kwake ndi kuchotsa manyazi anga pakati pa anthu.”
Aneneratu za Kubadwa kwa Yesu
26Mwezi wachisanu ndi chimodzi, Mulungu anatuma mngelo Gabrieli ku Nazareti, mudzi wa ku Galileya, 27kwa namwali wopalidwa ubwenzi ndi Yosefe, wa fuko la Davide. Dzina la namwaliyo linali Mariya. 28Mngeloyo anafika kwa iye nati, “Moni, inu amene Ambuye wakukomerani mtima kwambiri! Ambuye ali ndi inu.”
29Mariya anavutika kwambiri ndi mawu awa ndipo anadabwa ndi kulonjera kotere. 30Koma mngeloyo anati kwa iye, “Usachite mantha Mariya, pakuti wapeza chisomo pamaso Mulungu. 31Udzakhala woyembekezera ndipo udzabala mwana wamwamuna ndipo udzamupatse dzina loti Yesu. 32Iye adzakhala wamkulu ndipo adzatchedwa Mwana wa Wammwambamwamba. Ambuye Mulungu adzamupatsa Iye mpando waufumu wa abambo ake Davide, 33ndipo adzalamulira pa nyumba ya Yakobo ku nthawi zonse; ufumu wake sudzatha.”
34Mariya anafunsa mngeloyo kuti, “Izi zingatheke bwanji popeza ine sindidziwa mwamuna?”
35Mngelo anayankha kuti, “Mzimu Woyera adzabwera pa iwe ndipo mphamvu ya Wammwambamwamba idzakuphimba, ndipo Woyerayo amene adzabadwe adzatchedwa Mwana wa Mulungu. 36Ngakhale Elizabeti mʼbale wako adzakhala ndi mwana mu ukalamba wake ndipo iye amene amati ndi wosabereka, uno mwezi wake wachisanu ndi chimodzi. 37Pakuti palibe chinthu chosatheka ndi Mulungu.”
38Mariya anayankha kuti, “Ine ndine mtumiki wa Ambuye. Zikhale kwa ine monga mwanenera.”
Mariya Acheza kwa Elizabeti
39Nthawi imeneyo anakonzeka ndipo anapita mofulumira ku mudzi wa ku mapiri a dziko la Yudeya, 40kumene anakalowa mʼnyumba ya Zakariya nalonjera Elizabeti. 41Elizabeti atamva moni wa Mariya, mwana anatakataka mʼmimba mwake, ndipo Elizabeti anadzazidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera. 42Anafuwula ndi mawu akulu kuti, “Ndiwe wodala pakati pa akazi, ndipo ndi wodala mwana amene udzabereke! 43Koma nʼchifukwa chiyani andikomera mtima kuti amayi a Ambuye anga abwere kwa ine? 44Nthawi yomwe ndinamva mawu akulonjera kwanu, mwana anatakataka mʼmimba mwanga chifukwa cha chimwemwe. 45Wodala iye amene wakhulupirira kuti chimene Ambuye wanena kwa iye chidzakwaniritsidwa!”
Nyimbo ya Mariya
46Ndipo Mariya anati:
“Moyo wanga ulemekeza Ambuye.
47Ndipo mzimu wanga ukondwera mwa Mulungu Mpulumutsi wanga,
kudzichepetsa kwa mtumiki wake.
Kuyambira tsopano mibado yonse idzanditcha wodala,
49pakuti Wamkuluyo wandichitira ine zinthu zazikulu,
dzina lake ndi loyera.
50Chifundo chake chifikira kwa iwo amene amuopa Iye
51Iye wachita zamphamvu ndi dzanja lake;
Iye anabalalitsa iwo amene ali onyada mʼmaganizo awo.
52Iye anachotsa olamulira pa mipando yawo yaufumu,
koma wakweza odzichepetsa.
53Iye wakhutitsa a njala ndi zinthu zabwino
koma anachotsa olemera wopanda kanthu.
54Iye anathandiza mtumiki wake Israeli,
pokumbukira chifundo chake.
55Kwa Abrahamu ndi zidzukulu zake ku nthawi zonse
monga ananena kwa makolo athu.”
56Mariya anakhala ndi Elizabeti pafupifupi miyezi itatu ndipo kenaka anabwerera kwawo.
Kubadwa kwa Yohane Mʼbatizi
57Itakwana nthawi yoti Elizabeti abereke, anabereka mwana wamwamuna. 58Anansi ndi abale ake anamva kuti Ambuye anamuchitira chifundo chachikulu ndipo anakondwera naye pamodzi.
59Pa tsiku lachisanu ndi chitatu anabwera ndi mwana kuti adzachitidwe mdulidwe, ndipo anafuna kumupatsa dzina la abambo ake Zakariya, 60koma amayi ake anayankhula nati, “Ayi, atchulidwe kuti Yohane.”
61Iwo anati kwa iye, “Palibe mmodzi mwa abale ake amene ali ndi dzina limeneli.”
62Pamenepo anapanga zizindikiro kwa abambo ake kuti adziwe dzina limene akanakonda kumutcha mwanayo. 63Iye anapempha poti alembepo, ndipo chodabwitsa kwa aliyense analemba kuti, “Dzina lake ndi Yohane.” 64Nthawi yomweyo pakamwa pake panatsekuka ndi lilime lake linamasuka ndipo anayamba kuyankhula, nayamika Mulungu. 65Anansi onse anachita mantha kwambiri, ndipo ku madera onse a kumapiri a Yudeya, anthu anayankhula zinthu zonsezi. 66Aliyense amene anamva izi anadabwa nazo nafunsa kuti, “Kodi mwana uyu adzakhala wotani?” Pakuti dzanja la Ambuye lili pa iye.
Nyimbo ya Zakariya
67Abambo ake, Zakariya, anadzazidwa ndi Mzimu Woyera ndipo ananenera kuti,
68“Alemekezeke Ambuye, Mulungu wa Israeli
chifukwa wabwera ndi kuwombola anthu ake.
69Iye wakweza nyanga yachipulumutso kwa ife
mu nyumba ya mtumiki wake Davide.
70(Monga mmene ananenera kudzera mwa aneneri oyera),
71chipulumutso kuchoka kwa adani athu
ndi kuchoka mʼdzanja la onse otida,
72kuonetsa chifundo kwa makolo athu
ndi kukumbukira pangano lake loyera,
73lumbiro limene analumbira kwa kholo lathu Abrahamu:
74kutilanditsa ife mʼdzanja la adani athu,
ndi kutipanga ife timutumikire Iye mopanda mantha,
75mʼchiyero ndi mʼchilungamo masiku athu onse.
76“Ndipo iwe mwana wanga udzatchedwa mneneri wa Wammwambamwamba;
pakuti udzapita patsogolo pa Ambuye kukonza njira yake,
77kupatsa anthu ake chidziwitso cha chipulumutso
kudzera mwa chikhululukiro cha machimo awo,
78chifukwa cha chifundo chachikulu cha Mulungu wathu,
ndipo kuwala kwa dzuwa kudzafikira ife kuchokera kumwamba,
79kuwalira iwo okhala mu mdima
ndi mu mthunzi wa imfa,
kutsogolera mapazi athu mu njira yamtendere.”
80Ndipo mwanayo anakula nakhala wamphamvu mu mzimu; ndipo anakhala ku chipululu mpaka pamene anaonekera poyera mu Israeli.
1Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled1:1 Or been surely believed among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
The birth of John the Baptist foretold
5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside.
11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and 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 go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’
18Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well on in years.’
19The angel said to him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.’
21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realised he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.’
The birth of Jesus foretold
26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’
34‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
35The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37For no word from God will ever fail.’
38‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.
Mary visits Elizabeth
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!’
46And Mary said:
‘My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me –
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants for ever,
just as he promised our ancestors.’
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
The birth of John the Baptist
57When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60but his mother spoke up and said, ‘No! He is to be called John.’
61They said to her, ‘There is no-one among your relatives who has that name.’
62Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, ‘His name is John.’ 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65All the neighbours were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, ‘What then is this child going to be?’ For the Lord’s hand was with him.
67His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69He has raised up a horn1:69 Horn here symbolises a strong king. of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us –
72to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.’
80And the child grew and became strong in spirit1:80 Or in the Spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.