Luke 2:1-7 NKJV
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Sometimes the seemingly ordinary things are used for great purposes. So it is with the first Christmas story. A census is issued which causes Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. Who would have thought an act of the government would be used in setting in motion God’s grand plan?
Joseph and Mary traveled a long way to get to Bethlehem. Mary was pregnant at the time. She was very pregnant! Meaning she was in your ninth month. I can’t even imagine the difficulty she went through on that journey. Riding a donkey for an extended period of time would cause the lower parts of her body to go numb. Not to mention how bumpy the ride would have been.
Pregnant & Traveling
Imagine being in your ninth month of pregnancy when you’re at your fullest. Your insides are all squeezed together to make room for the baby. Sitting is not very comfortable because it adds pressure to your midsection. Your feet and ankles swell up. It’s a very uncomfortable time of pregnancy. The baby’s head turns downward towards the exit, which puts pressure on the bladder. Think what it would be like to get off and back on the donkey several times during the journey to relieve yourself.
What about Joseph? His trip was difficult too. He was probably out of his mind with worry and concern for his new wife and her condition. He put Mary on the donkey and walked the whole way. When they finally make it to Bethlehem, there is no room at the inn. Joseph is forced to take his bride to dingy, stinky, stable where they kept the animals. I’m sure this isn’t how he expected it to go.
But great things come from humble beginnings.