"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." Luke 2:7
Jesus was identifying with us before he ever left his mother's womb.
He came to experience everything we've ever felt.
He came to experience rejection and acceptance.
He came to experience hospitality with welcoming embraces and walls and hard boundaries and closed arms and hearts.
Those two words remind me that Jesus knows what it's like to be turned away.
They remind me that He knows what it feels like for the invitation not to come, for the phone not to ring, or the e-mail not to be answered.
A friend, that's a mother of grown children, told me the other day that she longs to mother but no one seems to want to be mothered any more.
He knows her pain. The pain of no room.
Yes. Before He saw his mamma's face or felt his earthly daddy's strong arms, He knew what it was like to be us.
"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:14
Jesus came with the intention of experiencing all we experience. Even as the angels were singing of His birth and the Wise Men were making their journey, He chose to feel what we feel.
"He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him." Isaiah 53:3
We told Him there was no room.
"Any other king would’ve come with great fanfare, a royal entourage and muscle-flexing pride. But you came into our world in utter weakness and with profound humility. “No room in the inn” wasn’t an insult to you. It was your choice, your plan, the way of the gospel." Scotty Smith
Jesus has felt every feeling I have ever had. Yet, I can only imagine what He felt when He dwelt among us.
I can only imagine what He feels today.
My heart hurts because I know He still hears the same words He heard that first Christmas Eve, just moments before His birth . . . no room.
What hurts the most is that He hears them from me.
The innkeepers that turned Jesus away, didn't know who He was.
I know Jesus is my Sacrifice, my Substitute, and my Savior, yet way too often there is no room in my heart for Him.
The place that has been reserved for Him, becomes occupied by family and friends and even service to Him.
His creation, His comforts, His blessings, take up the space that was made for Him alone.
The gifts have replaced the Giver.
"In the deep heart of the man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him. But sin has introduced complications and has made those very gifts of God a potential sourse of ruin to the soul. Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and things were allowed to enter. Within the human heart things have taken over. Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk, stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne." A.W. Tozer from The Pursuit of God
I don't know why I allow it to happen.
I repent and say, "Yes. Jesus come. Yes. Yes. Yes. There is room for you. Take every room, all the room, you want."
And He smiles and He comes and He sits on the throne of my heart knowing full well that the old innkeeper in me, will once again allow the gifts He's given me to squeeze Him out again.
He knows I don't want to be the innkeeper. He knows I hate the innkeeper in me that gives His room to someone else.
But I know He loves me. Innkeeper and all.
God loves me in spite of myself.
He loves me because I am myself.
And that never ceases to amaze me.
And I pray that it never will.
Come Lord Jesus . . Come.