People from all walks of life, the elite of Rome and the commoner alike travelled to their home towns to be counted because Augustus decreed they are to be counted. His orders reached a Jewish man in the town of Nazareth and Joseph must obey.
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. (Luke 2:4-5)
Joseph and Mary had no choice, they must go, because Caesar Augustus ad issued a decree; a decree that rippled across the entire world, touching everyone.
G. Campbell Morgan writes, things are often not what they seem, if we can only climb high enough to look down on this world from heaven's vantage point.
650 years before Augustus issued his decree the prophet Micah would write, but you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)
Long before Caesar issued his decree, God had ordained the time and place for Christ to come. Little did Augustus know when he issued that decree that the one being carried in the womb of a young woman from Nazareth would be the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The sovereign God of the universe was taking on the form of man that eternal purposes of God, the Father might be accomplished.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)
There in the little town of Bethlehem, in the form of a baby, God entered human history.
He came to provide a way for man to be reconciled to God. Driven by love He willingly gave His life on Calvary’s cross so that we could be forgiven; so that we might know the love of the Father.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 8:9, For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
When there was no other way, love found a way; to redeem the lost, to bring us joy and peace and hope! The simple and wondrously beautiful message of the Christmas story is that love found a way!