“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census* should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.”
Roman general Pompey had captured Jerusalem approximately 60 years prior to the birth of Christ. During the years since that day Judea had become more and more subdued to the point where they were now completely under the rule of Rome and therefore a part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Caesar Augustus asked that a census be taken for the purpose of properly taxing all its citizens, of which the Jews were now part. The tax that was to be paid by the Jews was their first act of servitude to the Roman Government. Is it any wonder that the Jews, God’s Chosen Ones, were crying out for the coming of their Messiah.
There is a stark contrast between the baby Jesus and what the Jews were expecting, not to mention the comparison of a mere infant to the largest Empire in the world at that time. God had sent his Son in the form of an infant to reveal to the world the difference between how the Lord sees and does things and how man does. The Jews sought a warrior king for a Messiah who would come and smite the Romans, thus eliminating them and their rule over the Jewish people. God didn’t quite see it that way. The contrast between their desire and reality was so great that they rejected God’s path to eternal life thru faith in his Son. That opened the door to all non-Jews, otherwise known as Gentiles, to have forgiveness for all their accumulated sins.
The Advent Season takes on a whole new meaning to those who have placed their unwavering faith and trust in Almighty God. Live a life that honors the Lord each day and know that Christ came to die for you that you might truly live. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Note: New Living Translation used.
Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; The Matthew Henry Commentary of the Bible & The Reformation Study Bible.
* In ancient Rome, a count of the citizens and an evaluation of their property for taxation purposes.