Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Imagine the trouble of having to travel on a donkey for days while nine months pregnant. What a bother to have to travel at all but a national census had been ordered and Joseph was required to return to his ancestral home. A bothersome decree and the Roman Empire are instruments in God’s hands as he orchestrates the melody of his will and purpose. He is using the mighty Roman Empire to move his yet to be born son from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that this one promise (and there are others) would be fulfilled, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell us about God and people?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for those in our city who are seeking to reconnect with Christian faith, a faith they once had but lost.