no-room-at-the-inn

The Birth of Jesus Christ, as we say, the reason for the season. Seven verses to change the world.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. Interesting that is says “all the world should be registered.” Certainly all the world that mattered to anyone involved in the story, for sure. All the world that Caesar Augustus wanted to tax and use for military service for sure. Because Jews were exempt from military service, for Mary and Joseph this would have been all about being registered to pay the tax man. Interestingly enough, under Roman custom they would have simply been counted where they live currently…much as we do today. It was the Jewish ancestral traditions that drove them to make the 80 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

mary-and-joseph
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. The Jewish ancestral traditions, all those lineages we find in the Bible. Without these traditions, Mary stays in Nazareth, as well she should have, to deliver her baby boy. Without these lineages, without the importance placed on ancestry, on where are you from, in Jewish life, this prophecy is not fulfilled. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.” Micah‬ ‭5:2‬ ‭NLT

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Up to that point, Mary was living in the wrong place. But, because of her betrothal to be married to Joseph, she too was now an heiress in the line of King David, so she had to make this 80 mile journey not because she wanted to, but under the rule and force of Roman law. But God…

swaddling
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. So the prophecy from Micah, along with so many other prophecies, could also be fulfilled. “This is the Lord ‘s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalms‬ ‭118:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The tiny village of Bethlehem was apparently overrun with travelers coming to be registered just as Joseph and Mary came. We have the most famous words here “No room at the inn”, but Jesus wasn’t born as we are problem picturing it. Jesus wasn’t born in a barn or some kind of side building to an inn. Bethlehem is riddled with caves, and it is almost certainly in one of these caves that Christ came into the world. We think we even know the cave in which He was born. There are several churches built on the site, and yes, if you make the trip into Bethlehem you can visit the cave in which (we believe) the savior of the world was born.

bethlehem-cave1
Born in a cave because there was no room at the inn. These days, for a very affordable price for sure, we would certainly make room at the inn. We just have no room in our hearts. We have no room in our lives. We would just have something better to do on a Friday night (or whatever night of the week it happened to be. I have no idea what night Jesus was born on). We would be too busy. We certainly wouldn’t be watching the stars to then make a thousand mile journey on foot to bring gifts and worship just another baby born out of wedlock to common teen age parents.

bethlehem-cave
No room at the inn. The only place there was space for Jesus when He came was on a Roman crucifix. No room in Rome for a king with a heavenly kingdom. No room in synagogue for a rabbi who overturned the Torah. No room for a Messiah who’s weapons were love and forgiveness, not revenge and a sword.

christ-crucified
No room in our inn either. No room for a Christ who calls us to love our enemies. After all…He never met our enemies. No room for a Jesus who sleeps with the homeless. No room for a Christ who loves prisoners (or inmates, as we would call them). No room for a Jesus who eats with the hungry. No room for a savior who demands we see each one as we see Him.

people-on-cell-phone

No room for His word.  Despite the fact that the average American adult gets ELEVEN (count ’em!) hours per day on electronic devices (per Nielson reports, March 2015), most of those same adults, including self described Christians, claim to have no time to read God’s word shared with us in His Holy Bible.

the-word-of-god
No room for forgiveness in our angry hearts. No room for mercy in our need for security. No trust in God when we have our 401(k). No time to love others when we have so many (important!!) things to do.

jesuschrist
He came looking for room in the overcrowded hearts of men. His search, and His rejection, continue to this day.

 

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:1-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/luk.2.1-7.esv

John Lewis

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8 thoughts on “No Room at the Inn

  1. John, thank you for recounting that night. We must remember that all is according to the Father’s plan. We would never have had room for Him had not the Father, by His Spirit, supernaturally prepared our hearts for Him. Have a blessed week – Fran

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So true and an important message for all year long! I often fall short….days when my stuff got put ahead of God in terms of priority. On those days, there was no room in my heart for God because I lost my perspective and focused on less important things. God loves us so much and wants us to draw near to Him…to be with Him….to talk with Him which includes quieting ourselves to listen ( a challenge for me ). Really a well written post! Thank you, john for sharing your walk of faith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you always Rick for your kind words and participation. We’ve all even in that place where we had all the answers, and had things under control on our own power. It usually takes some event in our lives to clear that pride from our psyche, to make that room at the inn for Jesus to be born within us. But once He’s in, look out because He ain’t gonna be finished until He’s finished!!

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  3. Your no-room theme is well taken. The Black Friday headlines of killings over toys and parking spaces have moved the world, not just our society, so far from Jesus that I’ve gradually backed away from Christmas over the years. We’d be better off if we played that great music all year long, never out away the nativity scene – if we ever put one up – and dispense with the hoopla of the date. We need to trade that in for a year-round “hoopla.”

    Liked by 1 person

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