Hear the Words of the Angels, Magi, Shepherds, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Herod Come to Life in a Whole New Way!
The birth of Jesus is depicted in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew and is traditionally represented in nativities with the characters central to the story: Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the magi, and the angels, of course. But how much do you know about what each person said about Jesus’ birth? We invite you to read these famous quotes from Scripture… and we have a special surprise for you! You can listen to the incredibly powerful audio version on our blog from The Bible Experience Audio Bible, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson with performances by a star-studded cast of almost 400 performers, including 23 Grammy winners, 8 Emmy winners, 5 Golden Globe winners, and 3 Oscar winners. If your family has a tradition of reading The Christmas Story every year, you will love this dramatic audio version!
What Did the Angels Say?
- To Joseph: But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
- To Mary: The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He 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, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:28-34)
- To the Shepherds: In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, watching their flock during the night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. Then the angel told them, “Stop being afraid! Listen! I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people. Today your Savior, the Lord Messiah, was born in the City of David. And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” (Luke 2:8-12)
- To God: Suddenly, a multitude of the Heavenly Army appeared with the angel, praising God by saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to people who enjoy his favor!” (Luke 2:13-14)
What Did Elizabeth Say?
- When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby jumped in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she loudly exclaimed, “How blessed are you among women, and how blessed is the infant in your womb! Why should this happen to me, to have the mother of my Lord visit me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. How blessed is this woman for believing that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled!” (Luke 1:41-45)
What Did Mary Say?
And Mary, said:
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
What did the Shepherds Say?
- When the angels had left them and gone back to heaven, the shepherds told one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what has taken place that the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15)
What did Simeon Say?
Now a man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. This man was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Led by the Spirit, he went into the Temple. When the parents brought the child Jesus to do for him what was customary under the Law, Simeon took the infant in his arms and praised God, saying,
- “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace according to your promise,
because my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared for all people to see—
a light that will reveal salvation to unbelievers and bring glory to your people Israel.”
Jesus’ father and mother kept wondering at the things being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told Mary, his mother, “This infant is destined to cause many in Israel to fall and rise. Also, he will be a sign that will be opposed. Indeed, a sword will pierce your own soul, too, so that the inner thoughts of many people might be revealed.” (Luke 2:25-35)
What Did the Magi Say?
- After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of King Herod, wise men arrived in Jerusalem from the east and asked, “Where is the one who was born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
What Did Herod Say?
- Then Herod secretly called together the wise men, found out from them the time the star had appeared, and sent them to Bethlehem. He told them, “As you go, search carefully for the child. When you find him, tell me so that I, too, may go and worship him.”
Which of the statements surrounding the birth of Jesus moves you the most? How does hearing the words change your perspective on The Christmas Story? Share your thoughts with us!