April 14, 2016
READ: Luke 2:1-7
While they were there, . . . [Mary] gave birth to . . . a son. She . . . placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them (vv.6—7 niv).
Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a legendary 5—star hotel that boasts a long list of distinguished former guests, including King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and the King of Pop Music—Michael Jackson. Immortalized by writers like Rudyard Kipling and Ernest Hemingway, there are suites named after personalities who were associated with the hotel: Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward, Pablo Neruda, and W. Somerset Maugham, who is reputed to have spent his days writing at the hotel.
Joseph and Mary once looked for some lodging in the little town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:1—4)—a relatively unknown, small Judean village (Matthew 2:6). Nothing in town was really worth a visit. But from that night onward, it became famous. Bethlehem, meaning the “house of bread,” became the birthplace of the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
Surely, there would be someone kind enough to give up a room for a woman in labor, right? After all, many of the people who lived in or were returning to Bethlehem were related to Joseph (Luke 2:3—4). But none were prepared to give them a place to stay. There was no room for King Jesus!
Eventually, the couple chose to take shelter where some animals were kept, probably a cave. And as the animals munched their hay, the Son of God came into this world.
It’s interesting that the God of all creation would choose such a humble place for His Son’s first appearance on earth. Paul wrote that Jesus “gave up his divine privileges; [taking] the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” What’s more, “He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7—8).
What an amazing, humble Savior we serve!
—K. T. Sim
365-day-plan: 1 Kings 3:16-28
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18—29 to see how God carries out His plans in ways that surprise and amaze us.
Consider that this world had no room for God when He came for a visit. Have you made room for Jesus in your heart? If you have, how has His presence changed you?