In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered…. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 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, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Of all the places on earth for the Savior, the Son of God to be born, why did God chose Bethlehem?
God didn’t chose Rome with its power and military prowess, nor Athens with its culture and sophistication, nor even Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish faith. No, He chose a little farming village named Bethlehem.
In Bethlehem, we see the power of God and the deity of Christ demonstrated. You see, hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, the Prophet Micah revealed that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, 70 miles north of Bethlehem, and they had no reason to leave home. So God provided one. Rome, which controlled Israel and most of the known world, was never reluctant to tax its subjects. Caesar Augustus ordered a census, with each man returning to the city of his ancestors.
Nine months pregnant, Mary could deliver her child almost any day. But she climbed aboard the family’s donkey, and Mary and Joseph traveled 70 miles on dusty roads before they finally reached Bethlehem. The trip must have been incredibly difficult and exhausting, but they trusted in God’s provision and fulfilled the prophesy.
God has a purpose for your life, too. You are a child of God, and He is moving in your life, whether you realize it or not.
Sometimes the journey is difficult and hard to understand. But God has a plan for you.
(To obtain a free copy of “The Cost of Christmas,” a 25-day advent devotional go to jackgraham.org, call 800-414-7693, or request it online at firstname.lastname@example.org.)