Luke 2:6-7

NO ROOM

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

 

          We are told that Mary gave birth to "her first-born, a son,". He will not be her only son. First-born means that this is her first child.  After Mary had given birth to Jesus, she continued to bear children. The expression first-born simply means no children came before Jesus. We even find the names of Jesus’ half-brothers are mentioned in Matthew 13:55 and also there is a reference that he had sisters as well in v. 56. Luke wanted to emphasize the word "first-born" to let us know that there would be more children to follow.

          Notice that Jesus was Mary’s “first-born," not Joseph’s. Joseph was the legal Jewish father by adoption, but not by conception as Matthew 1:16 makes clear in its telling of Jesus’ genealogy, “and Jacob the father of Joseph, (you would expect it to continue with ‘who was the father of Jesus. But instead it says, “the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. So, emphasis is also placed on the fact that Mary was a virgin.

         

          The baby was born and placed in a "manger" which was nothing more than a wooden box for feeding animals. The baby is born in a stable (a zizi or boma), not in a palace. He is placed in a feeding box, not a pretty baby bed in the palace of a king.

          Was God confused? No, because many times God works in ways that we do not understand. This is a majestic event not because of the surroundings but because of who is at the centre. This is the Messiah, the Anointed of the LORD God who is being brought down to earth to deliver His people. The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2:6-7 that, Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And in 2 Corinthians 8:9 he wrote, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

 

          This passage also tells us that, "There was no room in the inn." The "inn" was not a five star hotel. It was not the place you would want to take your family to stay. It was just a resting place for travellers or merchants and their animals (it would have been dangerous to travel at night). The problem for Mary and Joseph that day was that they were all overcrowded. They were instead shown to a place that was just an enclosure, as I said, picture in your mind a simple structure like a zizi or a boma, a place where a tired traveller could put his animals for the night.

          I’m sure they went to many places before coming to this last one. They had been turned away by all of them. There was no room even in the places used for keeping animals. The main reason there was no room was that the town would have been crowded because of the census.  The only option for Mary and Joseph was lying outside in the dark and dangerous courtyard.

          The innkeeper was not being cruel or unwelcoming; he simply didn’t have any room available. Mary and Joseph had no relatives in the capital city. As far as we know, they were alone and completely dependent upon God to provide for all their needs. However, we know that at the end of this day, they could say, we saw God provide for all our needs.

"No room in the inn" fulfilled the prophetic words of the truth found in John 1:11 that, "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him”.

 

          We need to ask ourselves often and sincerely, especially at this time of year. Is there room in my heart for Jesus? There are many hearts that never welcome Him because simply those hearts are already too full of thoughts of riches, honor, prestige, pleasure, business affairs, and the like.

          No room can also mean we do not take the time to reflect on His will, or to do the things that will please Him. Most people just want a folk religion that is convenient and full of superstition, but not too serious and no real commitment. We want our religion to be convenient and simple. We don’t want any more obligations, especially with our hectic schedules. We think, “Maybe some other day I will be more focused, but not today”.

          In what ways do you say “no room” for Jesus?

Do you say it, by your too busy lifestyle?  Do you say Come back another day when it is more convenient? 

          Do you say "no room" through your attitudes and ambition? You don’t want Jesus in your life because you think he will, interfere with or interrupt the plans and goals you have for your life. Maybe you will make time when you are about to die, maybe, but not right now. You think that you know what is best for your life.

          How about your actions or the way you behave? Would you be embarrassed to invite Jesus to follow you around for one day as you go to work, class, to spend time with your friends?

          Maybe in your thought life you have “no room” for Jesus. Do you think His thoughts? Your mind is probably the messiest room in your house with so many competing philosophies and ideas.  There is no space there for the clear thinking and ethical living that submission to God would demand. You probably keep Him out of your life because you have your own way of looking at things.

           However, think about this, in Ephesians 3:16-18 the apostle Paul tells us that, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” It doesn’t sound like Jesus wants to wait until it is convenient for you. He wants to make Himself a permanent home in your heart right now, today right where you are.