Learn: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)
The time period in which Jesus was born was characterized by incredible peace in the Roman world. For 200 years the empire enjoyed the Pax Romana, the Peace of Rome. This time period began during the reign of Caesar Augustus and continued into the second century.
With this time of freedom from internal strife and external battles with other nations, the empire had the opportunity to accomplish many feats of engineering, one of them being the Roman road system. Have you heard the phrase, all roads lead to Rome? That phrase comes from this time period, as the Roman army built a vast system of roads throughout the empire.
It may just have been that Mary and Joseph traveled one of those Roman roads on their way to Bethlehem. The peace that brought about the census also ushered in the prince of Peace. Mary and Joseph were probably enabled to travel more easily because of this time of peace. Jesus was able to minister because of this extensive road system.
Consider this: God established the peace of Rome to spread the news of the Prince of Peace. The angel’s song points to peace on earth, but not the peace of Rome. Peace on earth only comes through peace with God, by salvation through repentance, forgiveness of sins, and faith in Jesus. “The angels are saying that God will bring peace ‘for men on whom his favour rests’.” Have you experienced that peace of God?
Apply: How do you need God’s peace today? The peace of salvation in a relationship with him? Peace in circumstances? Trust him, he is the Prince of Peace.