16th Day of Advent

Trip to Bethlehem

December 14, 2020

When we think of Christmas, we often think of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.  But why did they make the trip?  Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem is undertaken in order to satisfy an imperial command that all individuals return to their ancestral towns “that all the world should be taxed.” Since Mary was pregnant with Jesus at the time the command had to be carried out, this explains why Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem and not in the town where his parents lived. 

There is only one passage of scripture describing their travels:

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to David’s city, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant. (Luke 2:4–5).

Travel during those days was long and hazardous and their mode of transport was mostly a donkey or horse.  Children and adults alike will enjoy this tale of their trip.