Luke 2, Luke 3Are really interesting - and so fresh in the Message too.
It calls the birth of Jesus An Event for Everyone. I like that :)
TheMessage is gender inclusive - so for example the angels are reported to sing
Glory to God in the heavenly heights
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
That latter got me thinking. Doesn't he bring peace to us all - (whether we please him or not) but is it so that we cannot receive (accept) His peace unless we know him, and by knowing him we please Him - we are back in relationship with Him and that warms His heart :)
As for Jesus staying behind in the desert
The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions[this shows he is already a teacher himself!] The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents wer not impressed; they were upset and hurt. His mother said "Young man, ...." (to me that sounds so much more like a mum than 'son' (grin)
a lot of history to begin with. I'm at long last beginning to see the importance of this!
I don't think I've ever really noticed John's condemnation of baptism for the sake of it. It's very striking in the Message
Brood of snakes.
What do you think you're doing slithering down here to the river?
Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God's judgement?
It's your LIFE that must change, not your skin.
And then John's teaching ...and the prophesy in Luke 3:16
(Here I admit I prefer the NIV - I baptise you with water, but one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie)
and then the geneology (remember those from the 90 days? )
The one in the Message is definitely much less to take in but still a lot of - in the main - unpronouncable names.
And that's it.