The most anticipated prophetic event in history was about to occur in Bethlehem. The prophecy about the person whom the Prophet Isaiah and others had spoken of was about to be fulfilled. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World was about to be born.
Here is one prophecy: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV). Yet, there was no room in the inn for his birth.
Many of us know the Bible story. In obedience to a decree by Caesar Augustus that census be taken, apparently for tax purposes, Joseph and Mary left Nazareth to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem, to register. Mary was pregnant and carrying in her womb the Savior of the World. Upon arrival in Bethlehem, there was no room in the inn for them, and so Jesus was born in a stable, wrapped in cloths, and placed in a manager (see Luke 2: 1-7 NIV).
It is reasonable to assume that there was no room for them in Joseph’s family home, either, and that was why they sought accommodation in the inn. And, unless one is from a very small extended family, or the family is super rich, if all of us were to go to our various hometowns at the same time, there may not be enough rooms in our family homes to accommodate all of us.
In any case, was it lack of planning and preparation that prevented the birth of Jesus from taking place in a magnificent palace or elsewhere befitting the King of Kings? No, not at all. Perhaps, it was God’s way of teaching us that the circumstances of our births, whether in a stinking stable/manger, perfumed palace or anywhere in between, do not determine our destinies. God is able to take each and every one of us from anywhere and everywhere and make us somebody great. And so what if you were born in a remote village or in a slum in the capital city? Yours was still better than what Jesus experienced. God will make room for those who are called according to His purpose.
In the course of his ministry, Jesus travelled from town to town preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, and performing other miracles. That meant he and his disciples were often away from home and at the mercy of others for accommodation. They were strangers. In trying to highlight some of the challenges facing his followers, Jesus said to a man who wanted to follow him: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58 NIV). Therefore, Christians must be aware that we may find ourselves in places or situations where there is no room for us, literally and figuratively.
Shortage of “rooms” occurs in many places or situations. For example, there may be no room for you in your own family home; no room in an inn or hotel; no room for hire in a rental property because they do not want your type; no room among your circle of friends or associations you would like to join; no room in the trade you would like to learn, or the school you would like to attend or the course you would like to study even though you have passed the entrance exams (when I was younger, they called it “pass no way”); no room in the company or employer where you would like to work even though you are more qualified than others selected; no room in the bus, “tro-tro,” train, or aircraft even though in some cases you are holding a ticket; no room in the country to which you would like to travel; no room for “diasporans” if all were to return home; and sometimes, due to doctrinal differences, there may be no room for you in a church.
Showing kindness to the rich and powerful is easy because it has its own earthly reward. There is no doubt that if the family members and the innkeeper had known that the Savior of the World was about to be born, or if Joseph and Mary were rich, famous and influential members of the society, they would have made a room available for them. In the same way, some of the ordinary strangers who seek our help on the streets, in our homes, offices, and other common places, could be angels or Jesus Christ himself. For Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in” and so “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:43 and 45 NIV).
In short, demand for rooms on this earth far exceeds supply of rooms. There is shortage of rooms in almost all places leading to homelessness and other hardships in many parts of the world. All must help. However, we know that this world is not our home; we are strangers passing through. In heaven where we are heading by the grace of God, there will be no shortage of rooms because Jesus made this promise: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3 NIV).
This promise to occupy rooms in God’s house in heaven is for all those who will make room in their homes and hearts for Jesus Christ before he comes back. Are you ready?
Prayer is the key. May God grant us the grace to seek Him daily through our prayers.
Dr. Daniel Gyebi, Attorney-at-Law, Texas, U.S.A., and Founder, PrayerHouse Ministry, Kumasi, Ghana.
PrayerHouse Ministry is dedicated to providing a quiet facility for Christians to pray individually by themselves without any intermediary priest, pastor or any other person. This is a free service. No money is demanded or accepted. One facility is located at Kyerekrom / Fumesua, near Building and Road Research Institute Offices, one mile off the Kumasi-Accra Road and next to a house called Grace Castle. If you are interested, please contact Agnes at 054-7498653. Another is located at Kantinkyiren, at the junction of Kantinkyiren and Konkori, off the Kumasi-Obuasi Road, branching left at Trede junction. Contact Kwadwo at 020-8768461 / 0246-989413.