“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” Luke 2:1
In Luke 2:10, an angel appeared to a lowly group of shepherds announcing that he brought good news of great joy for all people. A Savior had been born in Bethlehem! To truly understand just how good this good news was, you have to go back 2,000 years and look at how it all got started. In Luke 2:1 we are told that Caesar Augustus, the ruler of the Roman Empire, had given an order that his kingdom be counted. He wanted to know just how enormous his empire had become. Therefore, every man and his family had to return to the town he was from to be counted. That is what God used to set off the chain of events that would fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah. This order set Mary - with Christ in her womb - and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus had no idea what he had set into motion.
Caesar Augustus had become the official object of worship. He was the most powerful man in the world. He was the head of the Roman Empire. Do you know what they called him? “The Savior of the World.” He wasn’t just to be obeyed and honored…he was to be worshiped.
Luke was well aware of both the political and the religious overtones of this word, Savior. In fact, Luke is the only Gospel author to use the term, “Savior,” for Jesus. What he was saying was, “The real Savior of the world doesn’t sit on a throne in Rome. He is a little baby lying in a manger in Bethlehem.”
I think there is much to be learned from this historical tale. Today, the world worships everything but the only One worthy of our worship. As we go about our business, building kingdoms and keeping track of all we have amassed, there is a still, small voice that breaks through. 2,000 years ago it was the cry of a newborn from a manger. Today, it is the voice of a risen Savior seated on His throne. That voice bids us to come and lose our lives so that we might truly find them. It is an invitation to worship like those shepherds and wise men did all those years ago. The invitation is for all…and it is for right now. Come to the Savior.
Dear Lord, thank you for this reminder today that you are the only One worthy of my worship. I pray that you would help me to keep that truth in the forefront of my mind this Christmas season when I'm tempted to focus on and worship so many other things. You, Lord, are all I want. In Jesus' name, amen.