He’s only mentioned one time in the Gospel accounts although history knows quite a bit about him. He came to power because he inherited the Roman kingdom from his great-uncle Julius Caesar. Most historians praise him because he restored peace after 100 years of civil war.
C.A. maintained an honest government and a sound currency system. No problems with fiscal cliffs under his reign. He developed an efficient postal service and extended the highway system. These were the same refurbished highways that Paul later traveled on his missionary journeys.
Because C.A. brought organization, stability and order to the Roman world – he is considered to be one of the most successful Roman emperors.
So why do we focus on him in this post? Because God used Caesar Augustus to fulfill a 600-year old prophecy.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past” (Micah 5:2 New Living Translation).
600 years before the Christmas story took place, the prophet Micah wrote about the birth of a King – tiny King Jesus – in Bethlehem. But Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth. How would God get them to Bethlehem?
“At that time the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire… All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant” (Luke 2:1-5 New Living Translation).
C.A. called for a census, so Joseph and Mary traveled the roughly 70 miles to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, where angels announced His birth, where shepherds came to worship Him.
Sometimes in our modern yet still struggling culture, we think only certain leaders can make a difference. Yet God used Caesar Augustus to get His Son, Jesus, to the right place at the right time.
God can still make miracles happen – even in the most unlikely of places.
© 2012 GateWay of Hope Ministries