Reading the Word
Luke 2:1–7 (ESV) — 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Luke’s Gospel paints a stark contrast between the Roman ruler Caesar Augustus and the new-born Messiah from the line of David. Caesar exercised his power and all of the world listened. He called for a registration for tax purposes and everyone traveled to their hometowns in obedience. However, when Jesus, the King of kings and Son of God was born, there was no room for him. His parents had to find lodging where animals were kept. After entering into the world, there was no fanfare and no luxury garments. Jesus was placed in a manger, a place where animals found their food.
How could Jesus, the one who should have received every honor and praise, come into the world in such a humble way? His entrance into the world as a fragile infant would be representative of his whole earthly life. Jesus was not wealthy. His time was spent with the weak and lowly. Eventually, Jesus would find himself hung on a cross and crucified with criminals at his side. His friends would desert him and he would be buried in a borrowed tomb. In retrospect, Jesus’ humble beginnings were no surprise at all. They pointed directly to the cross and what kind of death he would suffer. All of this was so he could save us from our sins. What a great Savior!
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