Big Plans

When you make big plans, God makes even bigger ones.

Way back about 63 B.C, a baby boy named Gaius Octavian was born. He was the grand-nephew of a rather famous person name Julius Caesar who happened to be the Roman Emperor. Well as it turns out Julius adopted young Gaius Octavian as his son and officially declared him heir to the throne. Eventually Gaius Octavian became Emperor of the Roman Empire from 27 B.C to 14 A.D.  Gaius Octavian made great plans and he was a skilled statesman, administrator and military leader who ended most civil wars and expanded the Roman Empire to almost the edge of the known world.  In fact he was so great that he took on the title Augustus (Majestic One) and his reign became known as the Pax Romana or “Peace of Rome.”  During this time of relative peace Rome built new roads and ports, expanded old ones and removed border checkpoints so that commerce through-out the Mediterranean could flow easily. That easy flow of commerce increased trade and profits for many in the Empire and it also created a need for proper accounting in Rome to administer the Empire. With new and expanded roads and ports, a civil peace and trade barriers lifted Emperor Augustus Gaius Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus) decided he’d like a census so he could use it to determine tax levels throughout the Empire. The Apostle Luke tells us the following in Luke 2:1-6: 

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,  in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 

History tells us that the decree was issued two to four years before Joseph and Mary ever set out on their journey to Bethlehem. News did spread around the Empire but it was a big Empire and travel in those days took a long time. Once the news did reach far away Judea there were delays and difficulties in organizing and carrying out the decree. The decree did has a timeline for compliance so once it reached the provinces those Roman officials hurried to execute the edict. To expedite the order the Roman authorities adopted Jewish customs which stated that a man had to return to his father’s home region for official obligations.  Thus Joseph and Mary journey to Bethlehem for the census. The Apostle Luke tells us the following in Luke 2:6-7

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

What Caesar Augustus didn’t know was that about 650 years earlier Micah prophesied  “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.”Micah 5:2 

Caesar Augustus had made some pretty big plans, but God made even bigger ones. God put everything in place (easy travel on better roads with no checkpoints, civil peace, and even an unwitting Roman Emperor with decrees and timelines) for Mary and Joseph to make it to a small town called Bethlehem, in a remote province called Judea, that Caesar probably never heard of, so that Jesus our Saviour could be born as scheduled. 

Isn’t it nice to know that this Advent season and at all other times, God has everything under control. 

"The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9 

May this Christmas season find you all happy, healthy and blessed.

Grüß Gott aus Bayern from your church family in Germany,

Matt & Lizzy

No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.