There has been born for you a Savior. That is the high note of this entire passage. The shepherds and the angels are bit players, as it were, in the scenario in which the Savior who has been born is the main character. There has been born for you a Savior. This is the greatest news the world has ever heard.
This is the good news. In fact, that's exactly what it says in verse 10, "I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people." This is the good news. One has been born who will save sinners from their sins.
Seven hundred years before the baby was born, seven hundred years before the Savior was born a prophet, a Hebrew prophet by the name of Micah had predicted that when He was born He would born...be born in a little village called Bethlehem, house of bread. A somewhat obscure village except for one fact, it was the hometown of David, the great king. It was where his father, Jesse, lived. And that was very important because that played into the fulfillment of the prophecy. The prophet Micah said that when He's born He'll be born in Bethlehem. Though it would be a little place, He would be born there. The great Messiah, the Savior of the world, would be born there.
As it turned out, God had to orchestrate all the events to make that happen. Caesar Augustus, who didn't know anything about Micah or the Old Testament or God and couldn't have cared less, decreed that a census be taken. He decreed that census would be taken in all the fullness of the Roman Empire. That included Judea. And so the Jews had to comply with the sentence...with the census. They resisted apparently for some time because the census was given in 8 B.C., they didn't comply until two to four years later. And when they did comply, Herod or somebody in Israel, maybe the Sanhedrin, maybe Herod, required that the Jews, to register for the census, had to go back to their house of ancestry, as it were, back to their origins.
So that meant Joseph and Mary who were both in the line of David had to go to Bethlehem which was the home of their ancestor, David, and there they had to register. And it just so happened that the timetable of the census required them to be there. Probably there was a deadline like April 15 that required them to be there at a certain time and so they had to make the eighty-five to ninety-mile journey while she was in the last weeks of her pregnancy. Something you wouldn't normally do under those conditions because it was really a distance you had to walk, be carried on a donkey. But they did it because they had to. And that put them there at the strategic time and the child was born exactly where the prophet said He would be born, in the little village of Bethlehem.
We are told to rejoice, pray, and to give thanks in every situation.