1 Now it happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for a census to be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And everyone was going to be registered for the census, each to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register along with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was with child.
6 Now it happened that while they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guest room.
“Sweat and pain and blood and cries as Mary reached up to the heavens for help. The earth was cold and hard. The smell of birth mixed with the stench of manure and acrid straw made a contemptible bouquet. Trembling carpenter’s hands, clumsy with fear, grasped God’s Son slippery with blood—the Baby’s limbs waving helplessly as if falling through space—His face grimacing as He gasped in the cold and His cry pierced the night.” (R. Kent Hughes)
“Everything we know about the birth of Jesus points to obscurity, indignity, pain, and rejection. One of the greatest mysteries of our universe is that when God the Son became a man He spent His first night in a barn.” (Dr. Philip Graham Ryken)