Christmas Reflections: Caesar, David, and Bethlehem

In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him suggly in cloth and laid Him in a manger–because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7

The other day, I was listening to my Christmas playlist while driving to work. In addition to songs on that playlist, I have several story narrations. Some of those are feel-good stories that happen to take place as Christmastime. But that morning, the real Christmas story  was narrated. Like I said in my previous post, I get new insight every year when I read and listen to the Christmas story. For example, while listening to it the other day, I was reminded of God’s perfect and impecable timing.

I firmly believe that God has the power to work in the hearts and minds of believers and unbelievers alike. For example, Caesar Augustus was a pagan man who worshipped Roman gods. But how interesting it is that he proposed a tax at this specific time in history. More than that, the taxpayers had to return to the city of their ancestors in order to pay that tax. Joseph very well could have paid his tax in Nazareth, but that was not God’s plan.

Therfore, Joseph had to return to Bethlehem, the city of David, to pay his tax. Naturally, he was not going to leave his pregnant fiancee in Nazareth.

Back to Caesar. He proposed a tax. Joseph and Mary had to travel to pay his tax. How amazing is it that they began traveling and by the time they reached Bethlehem, she was ready to give birth. They were hardly in Bethlehem any time before Jesus was born.

Now THAT is perfect timing. A prophecy that was thousands of years old was nearly missed, but God orchestrated all those events perfectly so that the prophecy would be fulfilled in the right place and He would be glorified through it all.

If God can orchestrate something like that, then we should trust Him more with His timing in our own lives.


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