Earlier today (Wednesday) I shared a post that a friend of mine on FaceBook had shared. It was a picture that says: “Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.”
Traditionally, in the story of the birth of Jesus, the innkeeper is a heartless man who refuses to allow Joseph and Mary to stay in his inn...instead putting them in the stable, where later that very night, Jesus is born.
First of all, inns then and now were very different. There were no individual rooms, etc. it was something of a rest stop. Caravans would stop there and rest in, what was likely, a courtyard or large room.
Second, Luke 2:7 says Jesus was laid in a manger, “...because there was no place for them in the inn.” It doesn’t say a heartless innkeeper turned them out, just that the inn was full. An innkeeper isn’t even mentioned!
So because of tradition, modern thoughts about what an inn must have been at that time in Bethlehem, and, perhaps, the need for additional roles in nativity plays, the “Innkeeper” has been much maligned and criticized throughout the centuries.
But don’t let that detract from the point made by the picture. We all have to decide if we are going to make room for Jesus in our heart.
We all have to make a conscious decision to let Him into our heart.
Once we have let Him in, we have to let Him rule in our heart (which means we have to give up ruling our own lives).
And every moment of every hour of every day we have to make a decision to allow Him to stay on the throne of our heart.
If we never let Him into our heart; if we never let Him rule in our heart; if we try to limit His authority to a couple of hours on Sunday...well, who is being heartless now?