Luke 21And 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.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
It reads that way in most of the modern versions.
(ESV) Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered
The same holds true in verse 2 where it reads tax
One thing to remember that people at that time in Israel as well as rest of the Middle East were tribal in nature. In fact that is still true today in much of the Middle East. They may move around a bit but for an enrollment that meant that Joseph would want to be enrolled in his ancestral home not Nazareth. As I have shown you in the last sharing Joseph was of the lineage of David.
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.
Again taxed is enrolled or registered.
Great with Child simply means she was near term with the pregnancy. So it would be late in her eighth month near her ninth. They went there to be enrolled as Rome had instructed. As I said in the last teaching an espousal was as binding as a marriage it would take a bill of divorcement to break it.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now this may be one of the most misinterpreted sections in the entire bible. First it doesn't say that as they got to Bethlehem she was already in labor. In fact they may well have been there for awhile when Mary went into labor. It clearly says while they were there not as they got there. It may make for a good line for Hollywood but there is no basis in the word.
The word inn in the Greek is only used 3 times in the entire word. Twice it is translated guest chamber. Once it is translated inn. It means a guest room. It could refer to any house that had a guest room. Let’s remember some basic things. Hospitality was a major part of life at this time. Remember when the angles came to warn Lott. As soon as he saw them he went to them and invited them to come to his home and stay the night. There is no reason to believe that Lott knew the men were angles. In fact there is more evidence that he had no idea who they were. The men of the city surrounded his house wanting Lott to give them his guests so they could have sex with them. Lott went out to offer them his daughter. Now if that had been me and I knew the visitors in my house were angles I’d be saying to them “Hey do something here”. Lott went to have this mob take his children rather than having hurt his guest.
Mary and Joseph were in their home town. They were more than likely staying with relatives. Mary was due to have a baby. Why would she then need to go to an inn? At worst she was very near to the home of Zach and Elisabeth and we know she would have been welcomed there since she went to be with Lizzy while she was in the late term of her pregnancy. They certainly would not have turned away Mary. You know we are so used to the images given to us through Hollywood and art work by those who never studied the truth of the word that they become more real than the truth.
Tell me if your cousin came to where you live and she was pregnant and needed a place to stay would you turn her away? I couldn’t do that to family they would stay with me.
If you ever go look at ruins in Israel from this period of time you will see that there was a chamber for a stable in the home of those who could afford live stock. It would not be an uncommon thing that the house the family lived in would have an area that would have a manger in the house. So Mary and Joseph where at a relative’s house when Mary’s time came to give birth.
Now swaddling clothes are another thing that is completely misunderstood. There is a false teaching that Christ was born into poverty. That Joseph and Mary didn’t have two mites to rub together. Nothing could be further from the truth. It says Jesus was the son of a carpenter. That doesn’t do justice to the kind of work Joseph did. He was a wood carver. If you look at a wooden column and you see the design at the top or bottom of the column. That is what Joseph did for a living he was a skilled craftsmen. It is very likely that the family would be what we would call upper middle class. Joseph and Mary were never poor or in poverty. Again it makes for a good story line for Hollywood but is not nor never was the truth. Remember Jesus Christ came that we might have life in every aspect more than abundant. He had to set the example.
Swaddle is not a rag or a cheap bandage. It is a fine linen cloth about 3 to 4 inches wide. When a king was born they would take swaddle and soak it in salt water. This was significant for 2 reasons. First it symbolized that the king’s words would be salted that you could trust what he said. Second it was a covenant of salt between the king and his subjects. There were always promises made when a covenant was made, the king would do what was best for the kingdom and the people would follow the lead of the king. It was a contract between the king and the kingdom.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
This would never happen in December in Israel there weather is similar to that of the USA. There would be nothing for the sheep to eat the grass would have all died.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Again Fear not. God’s message is always fear not. We are never told to hide and shake with trebling because God is gonna get us, it is always fear not.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
When you swaddled someone they would be rapped from shoulder to toes so it would only last a few minutes. So the fact that the angel said to the shepherds that they would find the babe this way shows how precise God is. There would only be a short time when they could get there and find the babe still rapped.
Now there is nothing that says the angels were flying or they had wings. Again makes a great picture maybe but is far from the truth. Also not a single note sung. Nope sorry no singing by any angels. Just the greatest message to man from God to this point in history. The savoir is here and has come to save God’s people. I think that is better than what Hollywood has to offer.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
It says that the shepherds had hot footed it to Bethlehem to see the child. God knew they would come. Again imagine what this did for Mary that God would announce the birth and these strangers would come to see the child. What would it do for you if God announced your child’s birth?
Once again I have to debunk something from pictures and Hollywood. It says nothing about angels being there or wise men. As I pointed out in the last teaching they would not show up for awhile not just twelve days later but probably over a year later they would arrive.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
It is interesting that the first child if it is a male is holy to the Lord.
In verse 21 Joseph took the child to be presented to the lord and have him circumcised. Now circumcision is part of the blood covenant between God and Abraham. At 41 days the parents had to offer a sacrifice for the child that is how I know the wise men still had not been there because when the left God told Joseph to go to Egypt and here at 41 days they are still in Israel.
24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Again God do all that he could to edify the parents who raised his son.
34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
A prophecy of what would come about 30 years later.
36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
So Joseph and Mary return to Galilee. We know about the trip to the temple when the child was 12 other than that the next thing is 30 years later when Christ starts his ministry, Joseph is no longer around. In biblical times that was not uncommon that someone would die young. Also Jesus at the death of his father would become head of the family. Otherwise it could not say in Hebrews that:
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
Jesus was a complete savior he had to have been responsible for a family to fulfill this verse in Hebrews. So that is the record of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Now am I saying we should change everything we do at Christmas not sing the songs of the season or give up giving gifts? No I am not because that is all secondary. I just wanted the truth of what happened to be known because it is the truth. It is truth that sets us free and not traditions of men.