Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Seventy Mile Hike

By Mary Vee
Matthew  1
Luke 2



From Luke's Notes


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My name is Joseph. I live in Nazareth with my wife, Mary. She is due to have the child God has given her child soon.

Notices were posted all over our city of Nazareth announcing a new decree from Caesar Augustus. Every person in the whole Roman empire is to go to the city of their heritage and be counted. I am of the family of David, which means Mary and I must travel to Bethlehem.

We live in the north by the Sea of Galilee. Bethlehem is in the south of Israel. I wouldn't have thought much of the journey except there are mountains between us, and like I said, Mary is going to have her baby soon. 

We didn't have a choice. Everyone had to go. 

We packed only what we absolutely needed and I placed Mary on our donkey. I also made sure we traveled with others, in case Mary needed help. We had seventy miles to walk. 

Think of walking seventy miles through mountain trails with a woman who was about to have a baby. I was concerned. I mean, I knew God would protect us. I just wished we had more notice, more time, could have waited for the baby to be born then go. 

We walked during the day. I tried to make Mary as comfortable as possible at night. Others walked on ahead of us. We couldn't keep up. The longer we traveled, the closer the time came for the baby to be born.

One afternoon, I saw Bethlehem in the distance. "We haven't far to go, Mary."

She smiled, but I knew she was uncomfortable. We couldn't go any faster because of her condition. 

Around supper time we arrived in Bethlehem. The city was crowded. So many people arrived ahead of us. I knocked on several Inn doors and was told by the innkeeper, "Sorry. We have no more room."

We walked to the next inn. I knocked just as Mary cried out. "The baby is coming!" 

The innkeeper, said, I'm sorry. We have no room."

There had to be some place. "Please, sir. My wife is going to have a baby. There must be someplace she could lie down."

He sighed. "There is a stable out back. You can go there. It's the best I have."

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I didn't like the idea, but he was right. It was better than nothing. "Thank you."

I pulled the donkey to the stable and helped Mary down. She hobbled into a cave where animals were kept. "Here is a nice spot." I stacked the hay to make a soft bed for her.

In time the baby was born. She wrapped him in a cloth. She handled the birth so well. 

She looked at the little one resting in her arms. "His name is Jesus, you know."

"Yes. The angel said we are to call him Jesus, so we will."







Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org


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