In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.
We know this verse from the beginning of the story of the birth of Jesus. Confirming all that goes before and after it, this verse fits right into the truth that nothing was normal was Jesus. Not the announcement, not the childhood, not the life, not the ministry, and not the death.
So it should serve as no surprise to us that His birth didn’t go as expected. Certainly Mary and Joseph hoped that Jesus would be born at home, surrounded by family, with lots of resources at their disposal. Instead they had to travel far away from home, to a place where they had no family and had no support system. They travelled when they didn’t want to travel, to a place they didn’t want to go.