December 12: ReadLuke 2:7 NIV

There is much debate about the inn or lack of an inn where Jesus was born. As we talked about yesterday, this detail of an inn is only very briefly mentioned in the birth narrative. Even our Innkeeper is never mentioned directly. So, where could Jesus have been born?

Believe it or not, there is much debate about the inn because it could have been a variety of things. Since our author gives us so little detail, we are left to speculate on where exactly Jesus was born. Many homes during Jesus’ time were two stories, with the bottom used more like a barn for the most valuable animals at night. This allowed the families to bring their animals in on cold nights and keep them safe from predators. The family would sleep on the second floor, and many had an ‘upper room’ for guests. So, our ‘inn’ could be referring to someone’s home OR even a hotel-like residence. It could be that Jesus was born in the downstairs room with the animals surrounding him, as many of our nativity sets portray. This theory would make sense with our wood manger, which was often used for animal feed.. 

But there are many who posit that Mary and Joseph weren’t just downstairs but sent to a cave right next to the “inn.” The people of Bethlehem were known to keep their animals in caves that were connected to or at least close to their homes. They would even dig out a “trench” in the rock to place food and feed. It could be that instead of a warm lower level of a home, Mary and Joseph greeted baby Jesus in a cave and placed him in a rock trench. 

No matter where you land on the Inn debate, the main point is that our Savior arrived in sub-par conditions with as little fanfare as possible. A simple space became the Throne Room of God at the birth of the Messiah. This arrival would set the stage for his ministry and his purpose. Our Savior’s journey with us is not about the best and boldest, the most cushy and blingy. Our humble Savior came to meet us in the muck and mire of our lives. He has come for the broken and lost, the abandoned and unloved. He has come for the ones who have it all and the ones that have nothing. He came in human form to meet us where we are so he can lead us where we are meant to be. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for meeting my heart wherever it is. Thank you that it doesn’t matter where I’ve been only where I can go with you.

Reflection Questions

Luke 2:7 says there was no room in the inn. Think of “the Inn” as your heart. How can you make room for Jesus daily? 

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