The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-7)
1. The World Setting as relates to Christ’s birth
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. Luke 2:1-3 (ESV)
God providentially moved the heart of the most powerful human ruler to accomplish His divine purposes.
2. The National Setting as relates to Christ’s birth
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to 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, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 (ESV)
God’s purposes were to bring Mary and Joseph to the town in which Jesus was prophesied to be born.
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Micah 5:2 (ESV)
3. The Personal Setting as relates to Christ’s birth
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 (ESV)
Kenneth Bailey: despite improvised arrangements, Middle Eastern hospitality, then as now, would have ensured that Mary, Joseph and Jesus were properly cared for.
22 . . . ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son, Exodus 4:22 (ESV)
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:6-7 (ESV)
God purposed that Jesus’ birth would reflect the service of His life and ministry.