December 14th, 2016
Luke 2:1-3 (KJB) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Taxes are nothing new in today’s world. Taxes were first introduced in ancient biblical times. Caesar Augustus decreed that all people were to be taxed. He called for them to gather in their city of birth in order to pay their taxes. No man was able to ignore the king’s order and was bade to pay taxes according to his assessed worth.
Just like today, tax collectors were not always looked upon favorably and many were not always honest individuals. The collection process may work somewhat different in ancient biblical times than it does today but taxes were both assessed and collected. Each man was called to present himself and pay his share.
This decree caused Joseph and Mary, now married, to have to travel to Bethlehem to settle their taxes. They were dirt poor, of humble means, and owed little as they had no esteemed worth according to the world’s standard of riches, but were still forced to travel despite the late term of her pregnant condition.
Every person was summoned to present themselves in person before the king.