Day 7: Certainty – Again (Luke 2:1–7)
Today’s Passage: Luke 2:1–7
Can such a story, so far as we have read, deliver what it says? After all, in the first chapter we have had to contend with quite a bit!
Luke, I sense, recognizes the challenge of believing such a story. He returns to grounding his account in history—a census ordered by one of the most powerful Caesars of all time. This is no myth.
In the course of human history, emperors “come and go,” but this is more than just any moment in history. It is the reign of Caesar Augustus. The first Caesar who took the title lord and god. The first Caesar who ordered people to worship him – the emperor – as a god. During his reign, the Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome) was ruthlessly established.
Augustus’ success was impressive, but his behavior crossed into hubris by any standard. It is curious that the true God of the universe chose this moment for the Prince of Peace to be born — during the forced Pax Romana.
It is more than mere coincidence that Joseph took his bride to Bethlehem. For God used the decree of a human emperor to fulfill a heavenly promise, foretold centuries earlier in Micah 5:2.