| Joe Morgan reads Luke 2:1-5 | Sandy Lewis and Sara Hilton play Away In a Manger with Oh Holy Night | Ben shares a meditation on the significance of Jesus' geneology |
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Luk 2:1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.
Luk 2:2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
Luk 2:3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.
Luk 2:4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
Luk 2:5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. [Luke 2:1-5]
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord ; he guides it wherever he pleases. [Proverbs 21:1]
Perhaps an odd inclusion in an Advent study series is Caesar Augustus. Context is important to our purpose though and there is an important truth found here:
God is Sovereign.
That means God is in absolute control of everything. There is nothing that happens on earth, be it nature or mankind’s decisions, that lay outside the scope of His control. On the surface, this tends to bother some. Consider though, without God’s direct control and intervention, our only destiny is death and destruction.
It is good to serve a God Who is Sovereign, otherwise there is no hope for us.
Caesar Augustus was in control of Rome. He decreed a census for his own selfish reasons. The census was a way to count people for taxation and military service. There was nothing of serving God in Caesar’s decision to count his subjects, yet that census was the very thing that caused Joseph and Mary of Nazareth to go to Bethlehem, thereby fulfilling a prophecy Caesar knew nothing about.
God has accomplished His purposes through burning bushes, talking donkeys, people who love Him, people who hate him and all sorts of strange beasts in between. It is no harder for him to direct the decisions of a Roman emperor than it is to cause a virgin to give birth or a universe to come into being.
God is Sovereign, and that is good.
Father, You are God alone. Forgive us for our limited view of life. Adjust our perspective to recognize that You and You alone are in control and that is exactly what is best for us. Help us to surrender our will and desire to be in control of our own lives to You.