We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


No Room in the Inn

This morning I was once again blessed at North Ridge Church in Rochester NY. Pastor David Whiting spoke on the myth of the donkey, the mean Inn Keeper, the Inn, the manger, and the wise men. What a message! If you read the two gospel accounts in Matthew and Luke you will find that it does not say that Mary rode on a donkey. Have you ever ridden on a donkey for a few miles? If you have, you would know that you certainly wouldn’t ride one sixty miles in your ninth month of pregnancy! If she did, she was probably only in her sixth month and then had the baby after that kind of ride! Not really. The next myth concerns the mean Inn Keeper who sent Mary and Joseph out in the back stable because his Inn was at full occupancy. There is no where in the Scripture where an Inn Keeper is mentioned. The text in Luke 2 states simply that Mary “laid him in a manager because there was no room for them in the inn.” The word “inn” may be better translated “guest room.” Jesus for example, during the Passover, says to his disciples to “go and find a man carrying water and follow him. When he comes to the house ask the master of the house where the “guest room” is so that I can eat the Passover with my disciples.” The word “guest room” here in Luke 22 is the same word in Luke 2. You see, most people in the land of Judea would have had a guest room attached to their homes. Because they are so hospitable, they built this additional room on top of their house or as an extension on the ground floor. There was also a third room that peasants or the lower class would have had that would have been about three feet or so below the living quarters. This room was used to bring in their animals at night to avoid theft and to help keep the home warm in the winter. Both this additional room and the one main living room where they also slept and ate would have been entirely open. The reason it would have been open is because a trough or manager would have been dug into the floor of the living room near the short wall so that the larger animals would be able to stick their heads over to drink and eat. Jesus would have then been placed in this dug out section of the floor for protection. Since there was no room in the “guest room” they were welcomed to stay in the living room of this family. To turn away a pregnant woman who was about to give birth would have been unthinkable during that time as well as today in the Middle East. Well, I think I have shared enough myth busting for today, thanks to Pastor Whiting. I can always be sure that when I attend there, I will come away quite full! If you would like to listen to this message, go to http://www.northridgerochester.org/dnn/. Oh, the reason for the message was this: Jesus the baby was not turned away. He was welcomed with open arms. A peasant family even opened their “living room” for them because their guest room was occupied. This time of year is a time of taking care of others and opening our homes. It is a time of celebration and worship because a baby 2009 years ago came into this world to save us from our sins. This is a time of celebration like no other and the world needs to see why we are so thankful.

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment