Joseph and his betrothed, Mary traveled to Bethlehem--a week’s journey away from their hometown of Nazareth. Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor decreed a census be taken of all lands under his control. Under this edict every male adult had to travel back to his birthplace to register and pay taxes.
Mary knew her time drew near. In spite of this, she made the journey with Joseph. Their chosen route probably bypassed Samaria, lengthening their trip. The ‘highways’ were mere footpaths through the mountains. She rode a donkey for a week until they arrived at Bethlehem. While they traveled, they slept on the ground.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, all the rooms were taken. The best they could find was a stable--a stable. No one assisted her in the birth. Strangers came to see her baby. These strangers ranged from the poorest shepherds to kings of foreign countries.
Through all these days, Mary had to trust God for the outcome. Early on she vowed herself His handmaid--His servant. God’s Word tells us Mary kept her vow until the end of her son’s life.