Jesus faced a sword, not a cage

Oppressive government when Christ was born similar to today’s leftwing globalists

by Joseph Farah

Every year at this time you see it: The shameless political left creatively displays its guile to exploit the innocence and hope of the Nativity scene.

Sometimes they ban it. Other times, as in this season’s display on a leftist church in Dedham, Massachusetts, they caged it.

You know, just like Donald Trump does to those “refugee” children haplessly pouring over our border.

Of course, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were no more refugees in Israel than those who have been illegally crossing the southern U.S. border for far too long.

But it’s worth reflecting on what that 100-mile trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem was like – mostly on foot.

I know they had to come because the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, as spoken by the prophet Micah. But think about what prompted their journey from Nazareth.

It was a tax imposed by the Roman authorities.

Read the Book of Luke.

A global tax preceded the birth of the Savior.

In other words, those responsible for making this pregnant young woman take the long march to Bethlehem were like other tyrants of the past – people who wanted to live in a borderless world, with them in charge.

In case you don’t have a Bible handy, here is the relevant part with a little emphasis placed on keywords.

Luke 2:1-6 (KJV) begins: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

Notice how many times the subject of taxes comes up in that first section of the Christmas story. That was the reason Joseph and Mary were forced – and I use that word advisedly – to travel to Bethlehem from Nazareth, a rough journey of about 70 miles for a young woman in her ninth month of pregnancy. They had to file the equivalent of their 1040 form.

It ought to be referred to as “the Long March to Bethlehem,” because of its familiarity with the forced population movements of so many modern-day tyrannies – all leftist, all “progressive,” all globalist and all border-haters.

Jesus’ birth was marked by the first world tax. The Roman Empire was ready, willing and able to coerce millions of people throughout the world to battle the elements, to travel great distances, regardless of their condition, so they could be counted and taxed. No excuses were tolerated. This was a government operation all the way – though God was using it for His own special purpose.

Joseph and Mary were not “homeless,” as some of the modern big-government shakedown artists suggest. They were not “refugees,” as others suggest. They were forced to encamp in a barn because this massive population movement, prompted by the empire’s greed, resulted in a shortage of beds for visitors.

Only later when a local tyrant, a puppet of the Roman regime named Herold, put out a hit on the future King, did the family flee to Egypt until Herod was dead.

Note the next verse: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Joseph was a builder – a working man – who had money for a room at the inn in Bethlehem. It’s just that there were no vacancies due to the overcrowded conditions caused by this forced population relocation.

Government is not your friend; it is the enemy of freedom. Government is not Santa Claus; it is the Grinch. Government is not your servant; it tends, all too often, to be our master. Government seldom helps people; it often enslaves them.

Even back then, 2,000 years ago, government was often heartless and cruel. It forced women to march long distances in the last stages of pregnancy. That’s why the only kind of government the left hates is that which is limited, that which is accountable, that which has borders, that which is (the new dirty word) “nationalist.”

In the meantime, the only king we want is Jesus – the Kings of kings. He’s the one who will turn the swords into plowshares and free all the captives.


Like what you read here? Joseph Farah is the author of what many are calling a “breakthrough Bible book,”
“The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament.”

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