Great With Child
I've decided to approach the Christmas season this year by doing a study on the passage about Jesus' birth in Luke 2. I mean we have all heard it thousands of times, but it's more than just a fairy tale. It's more than words we quoted in Christmas plays through the years. It's the TRUE account of a Savior come to earth.
Today I'm gonna focus on verses 1-5:
1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
I guess this passage hits home more with me now than it did before. Because I've been in that spot where Mary was. And let me tell you, I would not have been wanting to make a long journey on the back of a donkey when I was thinking I'd go into labor any minute. Especially if I had to make that journey to pay taxes.
I guess I can identify with Mary in other ways too. Of course, we all know that Mary was a virgin, and the child she carried was the Christ, the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit. But I'm sure most around her didn't believe that. And most around her probably thought Joseph was crazy for not putting her away.
It's not easy being "the girl who got pregnant" in this modern day. It's not easy feeling like you're on display for the whole world, thinking everybody is looking at you thinking, "Can you believe what she did?"
And in those days, Mary faced the fear of death because of her pregnancy. I mean, Joseph could have legally had her killed for the sin of adultery. She was after all his promised wife. But he believed God's Word. He had faith that the child she carried was the promised Messiah.
But I'm sure that she still faced the scorn of those around her. She still had to endure the stares of many who didn't believe that Jesus was God's Son. And in the midst of this emotional turmoil, she had to leave her home and travel with her espoused husband to a city far away, right at the time she was expecting Jesus to be born.
But none of this was a surprise to God. He had promised hundreds of years before that the Christ would come out of Bethlehem. Check out this verse from Micah 5:2, " 2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
So although I'm sure Mary wondered why they had to make this uncomfortable journey, God was just proving that the child she carried was the Christ. The One He had promised would come out of Bethlehem.
It comforts me to know that God will keep His promises, even in the midst of our pain and discomfort. And He will make His plan known to the world. Even when we don't understand exactly what is going on!