Journey to Bethlehem

013-christmas-jesus-birthMary is drawing close to her time to give birth, however she has a long journey ahead of her.

Luke 2:1 (ASV)
Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled.

This is so that the prophecy would be fulfilled that the Messiah would come from the house of David, who was from Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2 {NAS}
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

To not go was unthinkable.  Mary and Joseph would have been disobeying the law if they refused to go.

Luke 2:4-7 (ASV)
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child.

I know from spending time with family members that the last month or two of pregnancy is often miserable.  The baby is growing and taking up more room and the mother is ready for that child to be born.  Today, the doctors won’t let women fly when they are this far alone in their pregnancy.

However, Mary and Joseph were given no choice.  They had to go to Bethlehem for the census.  They couldn’t file an extension the way we can today.

Mary most likely either walked or rode on a donkey.  Any way you look at it this was a miserable trip.  Estimates say that the journey probably lasted for days, maybe even as long as a week.233

Luke 2:6 {ASV}
 And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered.

Did her pains start before they reached Bethlehem?  Could she feel the child coming on the journey?  Was she praying that she would reach town before giving birth?   We don’t know.

Pregnant women are told today that walking will help induce labor.   Well, Mary probably did A LOT of walking.   Even if they had a donkey to ride, she most likely would ride a while and then walk awhile.   This was more than enough to bring on the first signs of labor.

But we know that if she wasn’t already experiencing labor pains before she arrived in Bethlehem, she was right after arriving.

The one thing that is for sure is that the baby was about to be born!

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