Luke 2:1-7 – 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 his 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 room for them in the inn.
In those days – the Romans were in charge, Mary was expecting a child, she and Joseph were on their way to register in Bethlehem, and there was no room in the inn. Luke is the only Gospel writer who relates his narrative to dates of world history. Remember that he had determined (Luke 1:1-4) to write a thorough, factual account of Jesus' life – that included setting the events in historical context. Caesar Augustus was the first and (according to many) greatest Roman emperor (31 B.C. – A.D. 14). Having replaced the republic with an imperial form of government, he expanded the empire to include the entire Mediterranean world, established the famed Pax Romana ("Roman Peace") and ushered in the golden age of Roman literature and architecture. Augustus (which means "exalted") was a title voted to him by the Roman senate in 27 B.C. It was this same Caesar who issued a decree that a census (used for military service and taxation) should be taken of the entire Roman world. (Jews were exempt from Roman military service). God used the decree of a pagan emperor to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2 – "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…”
Among biblical writers, only Luke dated the events he wrote about by referring to Roman emperors. Because of the Roman census, Mary had to travel from her hometown in a very advanced state of pregnancy – “great with child.” As a result, the Messiah was born in Bethlehem, thus fulfilling an ancient prophecy. Those days were just the right time for God to send His Son, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” – Galatians 4:4,5.
In those days, the time came for the baby to be born – the “one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." In those days, in the town of David, a savior was born! He was Christ the Lord! This was a sign to us: a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger – because there was no room in the Inn. This is Luke’s factual historical account in those days!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Give thanks for Dr. Luke who recorded for us a factual historical account of those days.
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Aaron Montanaro, Jim & Dina Priester (A.J., Allison, Sammy), Paul & Karen Rose (Cora, Paul, Shayne).
- Thank God for His perfect timing in history and His amazing gift of redemption!
- Praise God for His perfect plan that adopts us into His eternal household with full family rights.
- Pray that all may come to recognize that God has acted in history (in those days) and that all may come to believe in the Savior who is Christ the Lord!
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Give thanks that the Scriptures are the record of real people, real times, real events, and the Real God of the universe!
- Pray that this record of Scriptures may help others to know with certainty who Jesus is!
Prayer Challenge: O holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray! Cast out our sin and enter in, be born to us today! We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell. O come to us, abide with us Our Lord Emmanuel.