"Uncle why did the innkeeper said there is no place in the inn?" asked my dimpled sweet little five year old niece, Sandra, as I was decorating the crib, beside the traditional Christmas tree.
That set me thinking, as to why the general thinking about the innkeeper is that he is uncaring and a perfect example of a sinful mankind. There is also a common misnomer, that the innkeeper refused Joseph and Mary admission to the inn. This was because the Bible said that Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.
To understand that, we turn back the Bible, and see that Angel Gabriel who was God's messenger, was sent to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth. There he was asked to meet Mary and announce to her that she will conceive and bring forth a son, whom she will name, Jesus.
God's plan was that Jesus should be born in Bethlehem, because Joseph and Mary were from the house and lineage of David. So as per the Divine plan, the first Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus passed a decree that forced them to make the seventy mile trip to pay taxes and reach Bethlehem in time for Jesus' birth.
The travel went off smoothly, as even the donkey selected, withstood the rigorous travel over mount and gorge. They reached Bethlehem safely, and Joseph found no room in the inn. When God can plan everything to the last detail, will He leave the Great Event to the mercy of the innkeeper? No, the innkeeper kept the manger ready for the royal birth, as it was the cleanest and the quietest place. The innkeeper knew that the inn at that time of the year would be teeming with people, as they are forced to travel to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, and would be jostling for the scarce space.
And as an experienced innkeeper he knew that the jam packed inn would be crowded, very noisy, dirty and would not be a fit place for a delivery.
Inn's in those Biblical times lacked privacy, and privacy was what Mary required, so the obvious choice for the innkeeper was the manger.
Gabriel was sent all the way to Nazareth, to announce to Mary that she will conceive and bring forth a son. Did you ever thing that was all that Gabriel had to do; appear with a flash of light in front of Mary, repeat parrot like what God told him to tell, and disappear and again, to reappear with a horde of angels in front of a bunch of scared, half asleep shepherds, to announce the savior's birth? No, it's not like that. God plans are made to the last detail. Micah the prophet accurately predicted Jesus Christ's birthplace hundreds of years before He was born.
If Micah can predict accurately Christ's birthplace hundreds of years before He was born, you meant to say that God cannot pick an innkeeper who would do His bidding for the royal birth?
Victor Jasti lives in India and is passionate about writing short stories based on the Bible and real incidents. He also writes Christian fiction and poetry. Five of his poems were published in Temporal Currents compiled by an American author, Ms. Christine Tricarico.