In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 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. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7
Why Bethlehem? Of all the cities God could have chosen to have Son born in He chose Bethlehem. Why not Rome the capital of the Roman Empire or at least Jerusalem the capital of Judea? Jerusalem is called the city of David but David was born in Bethlehem. Since the Messiah was to be of the House of David then it makes sense to have the Messiah born in Bethlehem.
But whatever the reason God chose c this was not an easy journey for Mary and Joseph. Nazareth is around 75 miles from Bethlehem. While we might not think much about a 75 mile trip today, this was quite a journey back then. In all likelihood Joseph would walk and if they were prosperous enough Mary might ride on a donkey. In all likelihood both were on foot. A journey of this length would take days and both Mary and Joseph would be exhausted when they finally got to Bethlehem.
I can just imagine the exchange between Mary and Joseph when they got to Bethlehem. “Didn’t you make reservation?” “No, I thought you made them.” “No, you said you were going to make them.” “Oh.” So instead of a warm inn and a bed they end up in a stable, sleeping on hay surrounded by various animals and an occasional mouse or rat. It was dirty and smelly. It is here that the King of Kings was born. No palace and no castle just a stable. The lowliest of places for the Lord of all creation. Yet here in a stable Mary gave birth to the Son of God and having no cradle she placed the Baby Jesus in a feed trough for cattle. No other king ever came into this world under lower circumstance.
But God came down to us not to make a splash. He had more serious business. Reconciling a sinful world to Him. He came not to be served but to save. He came to save you and me. Taking on the helpless form of a baby the most powerful being in the universe chose to live like us. So great was His love.
Have a blessed day,