The Birth of Jesus
1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
`This little passage is packed with gold!
First there are several fulfilled prophecies here. Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” Micah wrote his book from 700 – 750 years before Jesus birth. It was such a well know passage that when Herod questions the scribes about where the Messiah would be born, the quoted this passage to him. Of course the Old Testament is full of passages saying the Messiah would be of the line of David. Last but not least is the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
But what does all this mean, besides testifying to the inspiration of scripture from God? Let’s look a little.
Jesus is the son of God and the creator of the universe, yet his birth is an exercise in humility. It appears a Roman king, who will be here today and gone tomorrow, is dictating that Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem. Obviously the emperor who thought he was in control was humbly being used. Jesus had every right to make the grandest entrance the world had ever seen but instead he comes to a tiny village in a insignificant Roman outpost, born by a VERY poor couple with nothing but rags to wear.
And let’s not miss the fact that Jesus was not born in the home of Joseph and Mary. No, the maker of the universe doesn’t have a home within the universe. Jesus is, from before his birth, a traveler in a foreign land with no possessions and no desires to acquire them. He is here to bring people back to his heavenly home…and we are to imitate him.
Lord, help me to always know that my home is not here on Earth, in this life. Help me to remember my mission is only concerned with bringing others to you. All the “stuff” you have loaned me while I’m here are only tools to be used to accomplish your purpose for me, or to be discarded. If the great Roman emperors are your pawns help me to fear no man and to be overjoyed at being your child.
Let it all go.