ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 16


turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who
are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an
old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”
Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God.
It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you
didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the
child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the
sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. When he finally did
come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures
and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.
When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned
home. Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into
seclusion for five months. “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has
taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to
Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to
be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel
appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with
God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him
Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will
reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power
of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy,
and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth
has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren,
but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word
of God will never fail.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said
about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town
where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At
the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

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