Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-3 (New International Version)

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

Thought for the day:

If you have had any interest in history then the title Caesar would be well known to you. Anyone with even a low level of general knowledge would also have heard of the name Julius Caesar as he was an extremely well known Roman Emperor. 

In our verse today we read of Caesar Augustus. He was the grand-nephew of Julius and his original name was Gaius Octavian. Further to the murder of Julius in 44 B.C., Octavian learned that he was to be named Caesar’s son and heir and changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar. Some years later, the Roman Senate gave him the title “Augustus” which means Majestic, Sublime, Highly Revered. From this time, he became known as Caesar Augustus.

Whilst he was certainly not one of the worst Roman Emperors, it’s clear that he was ruthless in his rise to power but brought a considerable level of peace to the Roman Empire. He didn’t go as far as Julius and declare himself to be God, but he did set himself up as the ‘Pontifex Maximus’ – Highest Priest, i.e. the head of all religious worship. He had ordered a census on several occasions and it could be deduced that he was demonstrating in a practical way, his reign over the entire Roman Empire, including the now occupied land of Israel. 

Augustus may have thought that he was the ruler but it is into this context that God sends Jesus as THE ONE who would reign for ever. Isaiah 9:7 says: “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Always remember that there is ONE God, there is ONE King, there is ONE ruler and His name is Jesus. Despite what may be happening in your life, regardless of the difficulties our country may be going through, let us hold on to the foundational truth that God is in control and nothing comes to us without first passing through His hands. Caesar Augustus may have been powerful with a large empire but God is all-powerful and is the judge of ALL the earth. Furthermore, this God is OUR GOD!

Prayer and Application:

During your prayer time today, rejoice in the fact that God is in control of all things. Praise Him for all that He’s doing on your behalf and pray a renewed prayer of faith to trust Him in every area of your life.