In 1972, Connie and I had an infant and a toddler. When the time came to take our Christmas pilgrimage from Northern Illinois to Tennessee, we made a bed in the back of our little station wagon and bedded the children down for the all-night journey to our Christmas reunion with my parents. One of the blessings of living in a free country is the freedom to travel.
Joseph and Mary had no such freedom of choice. They were required by law to make the difficult journey from Galilee to Judea while Mary was expecting a baby. I can only imagine her discomfort during that difficult journey. Did she travel in an oxcart? Was she riding on the back of a donkey?
We can only imagine Joseph’s puzzlement over how best to take care of his wife, his beloved Mary, in her delicate condition.
The Romans thought they were in charge of events. In reality, the Imperial Caesar was a bit player in God’s cosmic drama. Joseph’s and Mary’s journey had a purpose. God was drawing them to the little town of Bethlehem. This was so prophecy would be fulfilled and the Messiah would be born in the city of David.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The Word was made flesh. Shepherds and astrologers welcomed Him. Angels sang His praises.
The Lord Jesus grew to manhood, and He journeyed up and down the Holy Land proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. Every word He spoke, every act of kindness and love, every evidence of His deity in His perfect sinless life were prophecies fulfilled. Even His death on the cross was a fulfillment of prophecy… His resurrection, too.
Then He journeyed back to heaven, where He is now at God’s right hand. He’s getting ready to make the journey back to our earth someday as King.
The story doesn’t end there. This Jesus is now inviting people to believe in Him and to be part of His Kingdom. “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
He wants your spiritual journey to result in eternal life with Him. Every journey requires a first step. Jesus made the journey to come to us so that we can make the journey to be with Him forever. That journey starts here and now. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). It is a journey of faith. What better time than Christmas to believe in Jesus as Savior?
–Pastor Randall Faulkner