September 6 - Luke 2:1-7

Friday, September 6, 2013

Luke 2:1-7 – The Birth of Jesus Christ

These very familiar words give us a great deal of information. Luke, the historian wants to ensure that his readers know when these things occur. With the announcement of John’s coming birth to Zechariah, he tells us that it was in the time of Herod. Now, he expands the Messiah’s birth to the entire world that was known to the people … the world of the Roman Empire. Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Taking a census was part of the power of a ruler. When he needed to know who the people were in his reign, maybe to conscript them into service or to tax them, he held a census. In reading Psalm 87:6, we find that this is in fulfillment of a prophecy: “The Lord records as he registers the peoples, this one was born there.”

When King David attempted to take a census of his people, he was punished by God. Only God may order a census, the king is to depend on God alone. The people do not belong to the king, they belong to God. Caesar Augustus ordered this census so that he could establish what he owned, property as well as people.

A very pregnant bride, a patient husband and a trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This young couple did not travel anonymously. They would have been noticed, people knew who they were. Luke is building the story to a climax.

When they arrive in Bethlehem, though she is pregnant and soon to deliver, there is no room. The child is born and laid in a manger. The King of heaven delivered into a trough where animals feed. Very humble beginnings for a very regal Messiah.