1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 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.
Thoughts: The sovereignty of the King of Kings is shown in that He used a thought of an emperor a thousand miles away to bring about the prophecy that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Now this was not just any emperor, but perhaps the strongest emperor the world has ever known, and he was issuing this decree at his apex. He had conquered Pompeii, Anthony & Cleopatra, and won the senate over. But to those who say the birth of Christ is only a myth- Bethlehem is a real place- you may go there today. You can look inside the church that contains the real cave. How ironic that the mightiest emperor should declare where the truly greatest king should be born.
Prayer: Lord of lords and King of Kings! You are worthy of praise forever and ever.
John Calvin abridged: Luke relates that Jesus was born in Bethlehem not by human contrivance but by the leading of providence. Mary and Joseph were ordered to their homes by Augustus and were led like blind persons to the place of Bethlehem by the hand of God. So we see that the servants of God, even when they wander away from their plans, are still designed by the sovereignty of God.