Archive for December 20th, 2021

Reflection on the Innkeeper


Written by Jeff Taylor, a contemporary author.

None of the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus even mentions the innkeeper. In fact, the only reference to a manger or an inn is in the Book of Luke. “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” On the basis of that single sentence, we convict the innkeeper of shutting Jesus out. Perhaps we have been too hard on him. I think the innkeeper is an improbable hero. He had no reason to know that the strangers at his door were about to bring the Messiah into the world. Had he known, perhaps he would have made room for them, but that would have meant that some other weary travelers would need to be displaced. Yet, rather than making excuses, the innkeeper was resourceful, and gave what he could give—not a room or even a corner in his already crowded inn, but the stable that demonstrates that the King of the world is at home with the humblest of the humble.

The arrival of the long-expected Messiah stood out in contrast to peoples’ expectations. He did not come in a manner befitting of a king. No pomp and circumstance, no great earthquake, no thunder and lightning, no burning bush, but humbly and anonymously in a barn to a young unmarried woman. The Jesus born in those surroundings would grow up to teach us to believe the unbelievable, to be prepared for the unexpected, and that the poor and meek will occupy a prominent place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Less prominent than even the lowly shepherds and animals, the innkeeper is neither mentioned by the writers of the gospel nor placed in the crèches that adorn our mantels and tables during Christmastime. Rather, he was and is behind the scenes, humbly and anonymously playing a major part in God’s great plan. He serves as a reminder to us that God uses what we have. Perhaps we should be more like the innkeeper.


MUSIC VIDEO: The Song of the Innkeeper

Performed by Jason Gray

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