“The Birth” Luke 2: 1-11
1 And 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.)
A couple of things happen in verses 1 and 2, Luke puts a historical marker on the time of the birth of Jesus, Heres what we learn, Jesus was born during the reign of Augustus Caesar, we can check the history books and be able to put a bracket of years around when the birth would have happended. And that date and time can be further narrowed when we consider the other two bits of information offered in these verses. The birth would have happened 1) During the reign of Augustus, 2) at the time of a taxing (census) and 3) at a time when Cyrenius was the governor of Syria.
While not giving us an exact day or date, historical records can be used to support the timing of Jesus’ birth.
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And 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:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Jesus once told us “Give unto Caesar, that which is Caesars…”, what he meant by that, was that we are to recognize the authority of those placed over us in government and to do our part to work within the framework of that government. Verses 3-5, point directly to this teaching. In verse 1 a tax (census), is called for and in verses 3 “And all went to be taxed…” , and in verse 2 the text tells us that the respondents included Joseph and his “…espoused wife…, Mary”.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And 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.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
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.