In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 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 have birth to her firstborn, a son.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, He had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” -which means, “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Joseph and Mary, with child, travel to Joseph’s family home in Bethlehem to be counted in the Roman census. Can you imagine how it must have felt to be Mary or Joseph? Not yet married, but with child, they travel the long and rugged road to Bethlehem for three days because it is the home of Joseph’s family, the house of David. Mary must have been so uncomfortable during the final days of her pregnancy, her back probably hurting, her belly taught with the pressure of kicking and turning. Instead of nesting at home with excited family getting ready to bring a baby home, Mary was on a road trip riding a donkey. Joseph, must have also been confused by the circumstances of a pregnant wife and angels speaking to him in his dreams. How could this child be God with us? Did he know the words of Isaiah were being fulfilled?
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
How unlike royalty, was this baby king, born humbly in a common place for animals. Yet heaven was rumbling with angels who are soon to announce the Saviors birth to the shepherds and all of mankind. How unlike today when such effort is expended for the ‘honored’, and the ‘poor’ are left to fend for themselves. Here is our king, born in poverty who will soon turn the ‘religiously correct’ upside down. The law of the land will be challenged, by the baby who will dare to love us into wholeness and take away our sin.
Can you imagine this happening today, to all the enlightened ones so confidently perfecting the rule of law? The ones who know what’s best for all of us? So like the Pharisee’s in their judgements and condemnation, ” You do not follow the law as we do! You are not worthy!” Imagine, their surprise when one day the ‘least of us’ are welcomed into the kingdom of God with open arms and we call out the name of the Shepherd and He hears our voice! Some day will come, when everyone will be on bended knee and the name of this baby king will be heard throughout heaven and on earth.
Until then and in the meantime, be gentle.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Thank God that you were given time to work through the questions and come to Him. And then thank God for the opportunity to help others know the baby king.
Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.
Question (feel free to journal your answer here) Are you willing to follow the humble baby king? What does it mean to know his Name?
Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)
On my knees,
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