“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7)
The story of Jesus birth was anything but the grand welcoming of a king. Matter of fact, his birth story was littered with hardships and inconveniences more fit for a slave than royalty.
Just to name a few:
- Jesus’s conception wasn’t “normal” or explainable, and thus Joseph considered divorcing Mary to keep her from public disgrace. Their marriage wasn’t even physically consummated until after the birth of Jesus.
- Joseph and Mary had to travel a long, grueling distance while she was pregnant and in her final trimester about to give birth, because of the census. BTW – They didn’t have planes, trains, or automobiles back then. Ouch.
- It was so crowded that Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a guest room suited for humans to stay in once they got to Bethlehem. Again, we have to remember that they had just traveled about 90 miles on likely a combination of walking and riding a donkey, through difficult and dangerous terrain.
- Mary had to give birth in an area that likely was a shelter for animals, and had to use a manger or feeding trough to place her newborn in.
As a husband, having gone through the pregnancy and birth of my own two children, I honestly can’t even imagine how stressed out, worried, anxious, frustrated, and exhausted both my wife and I would have been in the above situation. And to know that these challenges all happened during the pregnancy and birth of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, and Savior of the World, is absolutely mind-blowing!
If our Lord and Savior can come from such humble beginnings but yet rise to the occasion for the glory of His Father in heaven, than so can we. Don’t let your earthly circumstances dictate your story. Whatever life and purpose God has for you, He will empower you to fulfill it through the Holy Spirit, if we walk in a life of reverent fear, obedience, and worship.
Jesus was the model of humility from birth to death. May we likewise seek to live as humble servants for God’s glory!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Happy Birthday Jesus!
[From December 25, 2018]