Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Luke 2:1-7

Luke 2:1-7
And it became in those days an official order came out from Caesar Augustus to register the whole inhabited world.  This first registration became while Quirinius governed Syria.  And all were going to be registered – each into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea – into the city of David, which is being called Bethlehem, for the sake of him being out of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary who has been betrothed to him while being pregnant.  And it became – in their being there – the days were being fulfilled to give birth to Him.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and she laid Him in a feed box because there was no place for them inn.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I find it absolutely no coincidence that when the Lord’s Messiah was about to come into the world that the Roman Emperor is focused on money.  How do we know that the Emperor is focused on money?  There were two main reasons that the Emperor took a census.  The first reason was to make sure that the Roman Emperor knew what military obligations a land could provide him.  However, the Jews were exempt from military service, so there would be no reason for the Emperor to have a census for this reason.  That only leaves one other reason.  Jewish governors always wanted to know how much tax they could expect from the population.  In order to find a legitimate idea of the tax base, a census was needed.  As Jesus comes into the world, the Roman Emperor’s mind turns to money.

Are you surprised that the world – especially its leaders – weren’t in a position to notice Jesus?  From your experience, what are the primary reasons that people in the world lose sight of Jesus?

Second Thought:

Once more we understand that the primary teaching here in this passage centers on obedience.  Joseph and Mary are obedient to the census.  But on a far more deep and spiritual note, they are obedient to the Word of God.  The Word of God tells us that God’s Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, among many other things.  Mary and Joseph may not have gone to Bethlehem because God’s Word told them to go, but they are obedient nonetheless.

Are you surprised by yet another place to see obedience in the story of Jesus’ birth?  How does this help you think about your own obedience and willingness to be obedient?  Have you ever found yourself being obedient to God even when it wasn’t intentional?  How does this happen to you?

Third Thought:

There was no room at the inn.  Jesus is born in one of the most humble beginnings.  The world had no room for Him.  The only place that Mary could find was a feed box for animals.  This only serves to emphasize the first point.  The world wasn’t paying attention.  The world wasn’t waiting for God’s Messiah.

Are you looking for God’s hand at work?  Where do you see Him the easiest?  Where do you struggle to see god at work in your life?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 2:8-12
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