Scripture Reading: Luke 2:3-5 (New International Version)

“And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”

Thought for the day:

Have you ever considered tracing your family history? If you have ever watched any daytime television, you will have seen advertisements for companies that will assist you in completing your family tree. Performing such an exercise could be very time consuming but ultimately quite satisfying. I know of people who have managed to find many generations of their ancestors and it is very interesting to see the details. 

It could also be financially rewarding as cases of inheritance will require proof of ancestry. I’m sure there are many of us who are wishing we had long-lost relatives who leave multi-million pound inheritances! Sadly, I don’t think a Lord Jones of Rhigos ever existed with no living relatives apart from my family. 

The bible is full of lists of people and their ancestors. When I was a child, I used to look at page after page of these and assume they were boring detail that meant absolutely nothing. Well, they are there for a reason. In Western culture our ancestry is relatively unimportant, but for Israel, there were very valid purposes to keep such accounts. For example, the Promised land was divided according to tribe and where you lived was determined by your ancestry. Also, in certain circumstances, transfer of property required accurate knowledge of family history. A person who claimed to be a priest had to prove priestly descent and lastly, Royal succession was linked with the Davidic lineage. The Jews kept accurate records of their ancestry because for them it was very important. As a result, we have clear a lineage for Joseph and Mary. God’s Word declares that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” This was the birthplace of King David and so due to Joseph’s family history, he had to return here for the census. As we have found so many times in the last few studies; God’s Word stands true. Mary accompanying Joseph to Bethlehem at exactly the same time as her baby is due may seem like a huge coincidence but for me it’s clear that God is in control. He sets the timeframe, He manages the agenda and watches over His Word to perform it. Trust Him. He’ll never fail you!

Prayer and Application:

Read Luke 3:23-38. There are some BIG names in there but also some obscure ones. God uses both types of people to perform His purpose. Praise God for the little names in your family history that have brought you to this place and for this time!