Dec 24, 2023. Luke 2:1-7

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GUEST ROOM. Luke 2:1-7. 12/24/2023.

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

1. The journey of Joseph and Mary

                a. We do not know what time of year or how close to the birth of Christ the journey commenced

                b. Traditional understanding is the Mary was very close to delivery and that she delivered the night she arrived in Bethlehem in a stable

                c. Several things strike us as odd about the story:

                                a1. A women near birth traveling 75 miles over rough terrain by foot or donkey

                                a2. Staying in a stable where the innkeeper would be feeding the animals and cleaning the stall

                                a3. Since we find Mary and Joseph in a house when the wise men arrive, how long did they stay in the stable?

                d. Since both Joseph and Mary were both of the house of David, they may have been required to travel together, despite Mary’s condition

2. End run around the inn

                a. There is another possibility

                b. The word “inn” is actually “guest chamber”

                                a1. It can refer to an inn, but it usually means a guest room (like the Shunemmite built for Elisha)

                                a2. This is the same word used for the Upper Room where Jesus conducted the Last Supper

                c. Under this scenario, Joseph and Mary arrive in Bethlehem where he had distant relatives

                                a1. Many other relatives would be in town for the census (tax registration) as well

                                a2. All the guest rooms would have been taken

                d. Many houses in Israel and throughout the Near East were built with an anteroom for the animals (sheep, donkeys, goats, and cattle), but most houses had few animals, since these were costly

                                a1. The word stable is not found in the text

                                a2. The word manger means stall or crib

                e. Joseph and Mary were given a stall in the anteroom where the animals stayed, for the guest rooms were full

3. No room

                a. All the guests were staying in rooms for there was no room for the King of glory

                                a1. Jesus was outside the main household

                                a2. There was no room in the house for Him

                b. When Jesus used the guest chamber for the Last Supper, the room was borrowed

                                a1. After He left the Upper Room, He was arrested, tried, and crucified

                                a2. The world still said that there was no room for Him in their lives either

                c. The world still says that there is no room for Jesus

                                a1. He must stay outside where animals stay

                                a2. The guest rooms are full of self and sin

                d. The question this Christmas is will you give Him your guest room in your heart to stay permanently     

                e. To leave Him outside your room is to be outside His