Welcome to Day 3 in our third and final week of our study ‘He Came from Heaven to Earth’.
If you have missed any of the posts in the study you can still get them by visiting the study page here.
Luke 2:1-5 ESV
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 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, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Mary was pregnant. She had to travel a long distance from their home to Bethlehem. It is estimated that they probably traveled more than 80 miles with Mary being about 9 month pregnant. Now it is said that most fit people would average about 3 miles per hour on a flat, smooth road. I remember running (and walking, and stopping and panting) a 3 mile course when I was in secondary school. It took me way more than 1 hour and at the end I was so exhausted that I had to miss the class afterwards. I was young and thought that I was fit. I could have been a figment of my imagination back then though.
Traveling at a rate of 3 miles per hour, an 80 mile walk would average almost 27 hours of non-stop walking.
Add in rest breaks, breaks to eat and sleep and that could very well extend to 48 hours. Add in being pregnant and that journey probably would have taken 4 days of traveling.
I have been very unfortunate to suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum throughout my pregnancies. It is sickness all day, everyday. I was miserable. I was on a tremendous amount of medication just to be able to function at minimal level.
When we picture that journey to Bethlehem, most often we don’t imagine that Mary could have been suffering from morning sickness. We don’t picture that there were wild animals, hot sun, freezing nights and treacherous paths to travel. I don’t even think we picture much of the journey except what was depicted in books.
We don’t picture setting up camp and cooking food, traveling with enough water for the journey or having to stop to replenish exhausted water supplies.
We don’t picture hardships, except for a long, but safe journey at the end of an uneventful and gloriiusly easy pregnancy. But was that the case? What if it wasn’t?
There was Mary and Joseph, traveling to Bethlehem, on the verge of being parents to the King of the universe.
Have you ever seen how royalty travel? Surely they won’t be traveling on foot, or on a donkey. Surely they would be waited on. Surely they would be treated with reverence and adoration.
Yet, Mary and Joseph made that long journey, not in style, but as poor people of the day.
Finally they arrived in Bethlehem and there was no place for them to stay.
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
Luke 2: 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 in.
No royal treatment. Not even a comfortable room. A stable was their resting place and there- among the bales of hay, among the animals- the King of the universe was born.
Not fit for a king is an understatement! Not fit for the king of the universe-utter disgrace!
Yet the Son of God came, in the most degrading way, to save us from sin.