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No Room in the Inn (A Christmas Morning Devotional 2011) December 25, 2011

Posted by roberttalley in Christ, Christmas, Luke.
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NO ROOM FOR JESUS (Luke 2:7)

INTRODUCTION: In a few moments we will sing #127 in our hymnbook, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.” The first verse says, “Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown, when Thou camest to earth for me; but in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room for Thy holy nativity.” It is interesting that Emily Elliott used the word “home” rather than “inn” for that is most likely what Bethlehem’s inn was, a home. Most likely the inn was a one story, one room apartment in which the family shared its living quarters with strangers traveling the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. If the weather was warm then there may have been sleeping quarters available on the roof. In this apartment there were two levels, the living quarters in the back being a step above the quarters where the animals were kept and where the children played. In warmer weather, the animals might be kept outside. As we continue to read the Christmas story this morning, we will see that there were shepherds outside of Bethlehem watching their flocks in the fields. Although tradition has Jesus born in a cave, it is likely that Joseph and Mary came to the inn but it already had a half-dozen or so extra people there. The only place for the birth of Christ was the front room where they animals stayed and the children played and the manger in that room was where the baby was laid.

We sometimes think that there were dozens of people who kept Jesus from having room but most likely it was only a few people, who had priority over Jesus. Is that not true of our lives. It is not the dozens of the things in our lives that push Jesus out but rather just a few.

Later in this same gospel Jesus (Luke 9:57-58) a man told Jesus that he would follow Him wherever He went. Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” To have room for Jesus is costly. Most people want to give a room to Jesus at Christmas but they don’t want to give up all to follow Him. To have room for Jesus means to have no room for our selves.

It also means to have no room for our family. Another man said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” (Luke 9:59). Jesus replied, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” To have room for Jesus not only means to have no room for our selves but to have no room for those we love most. This is a hard saying but it is the price. Most people want to have Jesus as a part of their family at Christmas but they don’t want to give up their family for Jesus. The price is not worth it.

Others recognize the price but are not yet willing to pay it. Luke 9:61-62 describes a man who says, “ ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” What a decision! Follow me and follow me now or go home to hell!

Frances Ridley Havergal wrote in the hymn “I Gave My Life for Thee”, “My Father’s house of light, My glory-circled throne, I left, for earthly night, for wand’rings sad and lone; I left, I left it all for thee, Hast thou left aught [anything] for Me?”

Henry Lyte seems to reply in another hymn, “Jesus, I my cross have taken, All to leave and follow Thee; destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou from hence [from now own] my all shalt be: Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought, and hoped and known. Yet how rich is my condition, God and heav’n are still my own!”

Is that your Christmas prayer? Have you made room for Jesus? Have you forsaken houses and lands, family and friends, and your own life also to follow Jesus? This carol, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne,” has four verses of commitment and one of hopeful praise. Does Jesus have a room or does he have you? That is what this Christmas carol is saying. Give Him, sinner and Christian, your all and follow Him.

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