“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 2:6–7
Have you ever wondered why there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn? Did the all-knowing, all-seeing God, all-powerful God of the universe forget to make a reservation?
No. I don’t think God was too overwhelmed with details that a room at “the inn” slipped His mind. It was part of His purpose . . . part of His plan . . . part of His promise. God strategically designed the delivery of Jesus to the world with great deliberation.
Jesus could have been born into prominence . . . but He was not. Jesus could have been into wealth . . . but He was not. Jesus could have been born into power . . . but He was not. God’s plan called for Jesus . . . Who was rich, powerful and prominent . . . to enter this world in a barn stall and leave this world in a borrowed tomb. And, He did it for us. Paul writes, “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 by His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)
Jesus came to seek, to save, to serve and to sacrifice. He asks us to walk with Him on the same path. Jesus reminded His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Jesus gives us an example to engage and express His love.
He Is Incarnate. The prophets of old told of God living among men. Matthew writes, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” which means, God with us.” (Matt 1:23) John writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) The purposeful incarnation of God profoundly impacted mankind. Mercy Me sings these lyrics, “My heart sings a brand new song. The debt is paid, these chains are gone. Emmanuel, God with us.” God among us.
He Is Intentional. Jesus’ purpose is clear, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) God is decisive and deliberate. Luke records Jesus’ reading of the Prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18) God’s plan was planned out. John Piper writes, “God rules all things — even motel capacities — for the sake of his children. The Calvary road begins with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem and ends with the spitting and scoffing of the cross in Jerusalem.” His love is intentional. God among us . . . God adoring us.
He Is Inviting. God not only came to the party . . . He also gives us an invitation. Matthew records the request of our Redeemer, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt11:28-30) He approaches us in our grief and we are accepted by His grace. Jesus teaches us, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37). God among us . . . God adoring us . . . God accepting us.
No. God wasn’t too busy to make a reservation at the inn. He was busy making room for us in His family. Bruised, battered, busted or broke . . . He is there to seek, save, serve and sacrifice. He is Emmanuel . . . God with us.