Google+ 12/16/13 When the Going Got Tought, Joseph Got Going!!!

Luke 2:1-3


 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus,

Decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.

(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.


Today we begin a nine-part devotion series entitled, "Taxes, Travel, and Temptations!"  There are lots of facts that seemed to be overlooked in our preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  First, look at the event that God used to gather Joseph and a very pregnant Mary to Bethlehem.  Caesar Augustus was the grand-nephew and adopted heir of Julius Caesar.  As we all know, Julius Caesar was assassinated by his senatorial opponents on March 15, 44 B.C.  Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian,  was nineteen and studying in Greece.  He returned to claim his inheritance which was the throne.  Caesar Augustus was well- liked by the Roman people and formed a very successful government which consisted of himself, Lepidus, and the now famous Mark Anthony.  Jesus's birth occurs in the middle of Octavian's reign.  Syria was a large Roman province, of which Judea was a part.  The capital was Antioch, which becomes extremely important as we read the book of Acts.  Judea was literally a political division whose ruler was Pilate.  Okay, the history lesson is over, but it was necessary!  This is the first census that has been ordered since Quirinius was governor of Syria.  God knew that everyone would return to their birthplace as ordered.  What better time to have Jesus be incarnated on earth?  Joseph, being of the house of David, would need to return to Bethlehem.  The journey through the mountains would have probably been about 90 miles and taken about a week.  Bethlehem is about 2550 feet above sea level, so the climb would have been arduous.  What can we learn from all of this?  Joseph was faithful and obedient.  Regardless of their situation, Joseph was taking Mary to Bethlehem.  Our tenacity and resolve for God needs to be like Joseph's, as does or faith and trust.  "When the Going Got Tough, Joseph Got Going!"