Shadows on the Wall

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”” Luke‬ ‭2:1-14 ESV.  I am going to finish up this advent look at what it means when we call Jesus Christ “king”, overshot my mark of finishing by Christmas, but what else is new?   We are still in the ‘twelve days of Christmas” after all!!

The second verse of that Christmas carol 

So that’s what I am doing now, I’m going to tell the story again, just one more time, 

400 years before Christ, history’s greatest philosopher, a very important Greek man, gave the world a last lasting, enduring allegory.  I’m talking about Plato, and his famous “Allegory of the Cave.”   Plato was trying to communicate our situation as human beings.  He was communicating what our plight is, what it’s like for we humans in this world.  Plato said we are like prisoners chained in a deep cave lit only by dim torches, so that we exist in chains, in darkness, watching 

Plato is right.  We need someone to come into the cave, free us from our chains, show us the way out of the cave, and lead us into the light.  That’s the allegory of the cave that the philosopher Plato gave to explain the human condition 400 years before Caesar Augustus decided to take a census and thereby set in motion a chain of events that we remember every December.   

Caesar Augustus, who bore the title “Son of God”, Prince of Peace”, “Lord of All”, it was this Caesar Augustus who decided it was time to take a thorough census of the empire.  So the decree came from Rome that all the empire was to be registered, and the way this was to be done was everyone was to go to their ancestral home for the registration.  This is why this carpenter from Nazareth, named Joseph, and his betrothed, named Mary, had to make the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in Judea.  Bethlehem was a little hilltop village, which which would have been completely inconsequential except for the fact that it was the birthplace of Israel’s greatest king, King David (of course).   Joseph was of the lineage of King David, that’s why he had to go Bethlehem.  

So Joseph and Mary make the trip to Bethlehem.  Interestingly. The prophet Micah had said that someday an even greater king than David would be born in Bethlehem.  

And Micah talking about So

Of course, Mary was 

So, the correct picture to get is that, yes, Jesus was born in a 


John Lewis

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