Caesar and Christmas

Posted on December 2, 2014 · Posted in Authority, Holidays, Worldview


Roman emperors ruled with unquestioned authority. Their word was enough to upend the lives of people all around the ancient Mediterranean world. Like most leaders in history, Caesar Augustus gave no thought that his orders would serve the purposes of the living God. Caesar wanted to record the vastness of his empire. So he decreed a census be taken. He had no clue his orders would bring about the fulfillment of biblical prophecy; that his decree would serve the eternal decree of the true King.

God’s ways are not our ways. Things are not as we think. 2,000 years ago it was not evident that Caesar’s order would result in the first Christmas. As Nebuchadnezzar realized no one can hold back the hand of God. The things our government does now, no matter how baffling or troubling, will ultimately be used by God to bring about what he wants. This is something you can encourage your family with this Christmas season – our God is not limited by human government, he continues to execute his plan to save a people for himself!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:1-3

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.