1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And 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, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The narrative of Luke, it was made for people of faith.
Faith is required to accept that the baby born was the Son of God, and that his conception as well as his nativity was all covered in supernatural events. This narrative is to strengthen our faith.
One of the aspects of this story where we need to exercise faith in God, is in the time of the birth. Under the reign of Emperor Caesar Augustus (27BC-14CE), during the first census, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Historians have not come yet to historical proof of this census, at the time when Quirinius was governor of Syria, or if there was a census at all under this Roman emperor. It is like when only faith could hold the existence of Pontius Pilate, for two thousand years, before any archeological proof of the existence of Pilate as a historical figure was discovered. For 2000 years we suffered ridicule from the world, until 1961, year in which the Pilate’s Stone was discovered in Israel, that finally proved our faith was correct. The same way now, we are standing between the denial of historians, and the claim of the Word of God; and men of faith know God is infallible and that we should trust in Him before fallible men. The author of the Gospel of Luke ensures to his reader, that everything that he wrote was made with much care and detail (Luke 1:1-4), so we opt for trusting Luke before men.
Lord Jesus came unexpectedly at the nine months of conception, but the couple already in Bethlehem, could not find suitable accommodation due to the great convergence of travelers, so they delivered Lord Jesus in the barn, and placed Him in a container used to feed animals of work (Luke 2:7). Jesus, who could have been born in a royal palace, as God and descendant of King David, opted to be born in a humble manner, uniting Himself with the poorest, starting to redeem the poor of the world with his own poverty.
While Jesus was been born, angels proclaiming God’s mercy, appeared to the shepherds in the fields nearby. It must have been an agreeable weather since they stayed doing turns watching their sheep during the night and received the announcement of the birth of the Savior of the World (Luke 2:11). An angelic manifestation that moved the people that saw it, into believing this was a divine event, so they went to see Jesus born.
The shepherds arrived, and there were more people there by then, and when they talked about the apparition, the others were astonished by their story (Luke 2:17-18). After the apparition, seeing Lord Jesus and speaking to his parents, they must have had a conversion, because whatever their condition was before meeting Jesus, they returned glorifying God for what they had experienced (Luke 2:20). But St Mary, the holy mother of our Lord, listened, and kept all that in her mind, meditating about the significance of all that, the same as she must have wonder at the angel’s apparition to announce the conception, and when she presented Jesus in the Temple later. Mary was growing in understanding the depth of her decision when she accepted to be the mother of the Son of God.
Finally, our Lord fulfilled everything He Himself had established in the Mosaic Law as God, and on the eighth day, He was circumcised, and He was given the Name of ‘Jesus’, or ‘He who saves’, as angel Gabriel had told Mary (Luke 1:31).
God had become a man, a perfect human being, to teach the world righteousness, and to offer Himself as a Son to a Father, as propitiatory offering for the sins of all mankind.