Mary had much to ponder. Shepherds told of the glad tidings of angels who said they would find the newborn Savior lying in a manger. During the ritual presentation of a firstborn son in the Temple, a holy man named Simeon recognized the infant Jesus as the Messiah, a Light for all people. Still, Mary and Joseph had parental worries. Magi had just departed when an angel sent the Holy family to Egypt before Herod could have Jesus slain. At age 12, Jesus decided to stay behind in Jerusalem after the Passover feast. For three days, Mary and Joseph

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When two miraculously expectant mothers greeted each other, Elizabeth’s unborn child kicked joyfully in nearness to the coming Savior. Zechariah had doubted an angel’s message that he and Elizabeth would become parents. He lost the power of speech, regained it when he believed, and then prophesied that John would prepare the way for the Lord by teaching forgiveness of sins as the way of salvation. On the night of the Lord’s birth, shepherds saw from Earth’s landscape the rejoicing in heaven. An angel announced that they would find the n

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Mary believed that God chose her to give birth to the Son, but others surely would doubt. Under Mosaic Law, if Joseph posed as a child’s father, God would punish the Israelite nation. Fear and misgivings weighed heavily, until an angel provided reassurance. Years later, John the Baptist offered practical advice on living righteously, such as giving away an extra cloak and refraining from false accusations. Jesus put religious leaders on the spot by asking whether baptism by John had heavenly or human origin. Even when they saw repentant sinne

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Jesus wants people to understand Scripture in terms of fulfillment. Isaiah prophesied about the Israelites’ captivity and escape through the desert. John the Baptist came later as a voice in the desert, preaching and pointing out the awaited Messiah, who would lead people further. When a group lowered a paralyzed man through the roof to get close to Jesus, our Savior provided both physical and spiritual healing—a prelude to salvation for humankind. The Lord compared His generation to children playing their flutes, singing, and complaining b

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Isaiah envisioned people using swords for plow parts and turning spears into pruning tools—a peaceful ideal still not realized. A Roman military officer, admittedly unworthy to have Jesus under his roof, asked the Lord to cure his paralyzed servant by just saying the word—a wonderful expression of faith. Jesus worked the miracle from a distance. Crowds gathered to hear the rock-solid teaching that leads to faith and good works. Miracles occurred before the throngs and in the presence of just a few. When Jesus sent the Twelve to proclaim the

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When a poor widow donated all that she had to the Temple treasury, her offering looked like a pittance, but Jesus remarked that it had great worth. Besides, the Lord foretold, the richly adorned Temple would get demolished. People wanted to know when or at least what signs would give them warning, and Jesus responded that people would incorrectly interpret calamities as signs. Believers would face persecution, but He would give them words of irrefutable wisdom to defend themselves. Meanwhile, people should take care that everyday anxieties not

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In a parable, servants received handsome rewards for making profits with a nobleman’s money entrusted to them. One servant, fearful of losing the nobleman’s gold, hid it to give back later. When Jesus saw the Temple area turned into a marketplace that stole glory from God, He drove the thieving sellers away. A blind man shouted for Jesus from the roadside, ignoring bystanders who told him to stop yelling. A wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus climbed a tree so that he could see the Lord over the crowd. Jesus noticed, giving sight to the m

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