The movie The Nativity Story does what I consider to be a wonderful job depicting this part of the story. Luke doesn’t give us much information and perhaps that is because in the grand scheme of things it is not that grand of an event; and yet, would Jesus have been born in that stable in Bethlehem without this difficult journey? Probably not!
Until news of the census arrived in Nazareth, I’m sure Mary and Joseph were content to wait out the remainder of Mary’s pregnancy in the comfort of their home, surrounded with love and support. If doctor’s today do not want expectant mothers to travel from home, then certainly a multi-day journey to a foreign land on the back of a donkey was not the best idea! Joseph was left to care for Mary, to keep her as comfortable as possible through the dust, the unsteady terrain, and the cold of desert nights. Mary made the journey clinging to the assured hope that if God placed this baby within her then God would certainly keep them safe.
Did they leave Nazareth thinking they would have time to make the long journey there and return home before Jesus joined the world? Were they somehow able to make the trip in confidence that God would care for them through all situations?
I imagine it was a test of faith to make that journey; a journey that could not have been all that pleasant and yet a journey they somehow knew in their heart of hearts was absolutely necessary to the Story of their Son.
Do we have that same confidence? Do we know in our heart of hearts that this journey is necessary to the Story of the Son while we wait for him to return to us to restore Heaven and earth? This season I pray it will be so in your heart and in mine. Amen!
(Note: the above is original content written by this author in 2004. I suggest having a journal and Bible on-hand when you sit down with this devotional in order to complete the full aspects of it.)