Thursday, December 9, 2010


"And it came to pass in those days...that there was no room for them in the inn" (Lk. 2:1-7).

It was a very busy time in Israel. Many Jews had to prepare for their long journey on foot to a distant city. For some, the trip itself could take more than a week, requiring that they take food and bedding for their two-way journey. And once the travelers arrived at their destination, their city did not have hotels and restaurants to accommodate more than a few travelers, so it was impossible to call ahead and make reservations; it was first come, first served.

Concerning Luke 2:1-7, much has been written about the conversation between Joseph and the owner of the inn. Some imagine him being cold-hearted and rude, and others see him as being kind and compassionate, going out of his way to find some shelter for the couple. However, the only thing we know about him, if indeed it was a "him," is that his place was filled to capacity. There was no room for them in the inn. Period.

Since we seem to need to understand everything that occurred, I will add my two cents worth. First, I have to assume the inn keeper was a Jew. And as a Jew, he must have known that his inn was in the city of David. Surely he knew that the Messiah would be born there, and that all Israel seemed to be anticipating His arrival (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:5; Jn. 7:42). However, there is no reason to expect the owner of the inn, or anyone else to know Mary's baby was the Messiah. After all, they were looking for a warrior king to free them from Roman rule. Just as most Christians believe that the antichrist is alive now and waiting in the wings, Israel must have thought their Messiah was an adult simply waiting for the right time to reveal Himself.

Today, we have a couple sayings that seem to fit that situation: "if I knew then what I know now" and "hind-sight is 20/20." Perhaps if the inn keeper lived for thirty-five more years, he could say the same thing: "If only I had known." I am absolutely certain that if he became a Christian, he would have given the family his own room. Even if he remained a Jew, up until the end of the Lord's ministry, he would still have been sacrificial in dealing with the "miracle worker of Israel." But, he didn't know. And, it was a very busy time for all of Israel.

Jesus is coming back one day when His Church will meet Him in the air (Jn. 14:1-6; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). I hope and pray that my family, my friends, and my fellow church members are aware that He might arrive any day, and that they will not be so busy being involved with their lives, that they put off accepting Him as their Lord and Savior! The Word says that today is the day of salvation; Once He comes for His Church, it will be too late. I pray no one I know will say, "If I hadn't been so busy...."

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