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There was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary (as noted in Luke 2:7) because of the large number of people who did not normally live in Bethlehem, but who had traveled there because of the decree (mentioned in Luke 2:1) of the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar that people in Palestine (which was under the control of the Roman Empire) were to travel to their ancestral home city in order to be counted for taxation purposes. Because both Joseph and Mary were descended (as noted in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38) from King David -- who had been born in Bethlehem (as noted in 1 Samuel 16:1-13), and from whose lineage the Messiah had been prophesied to come (Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 23:5-6) -- they journeyed from Nazareth, where they had both been living (Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:4-5) to Bethlehem. (I would say that only such a decree (rather than Mary and Joseph's own choice or volition) could have accounted for them making the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem -- a distance of almost 100 miles -- at that time, since Mary was in the advanced stages of her pregnancy with Jesus.) In this way, Augustus, even though he did not worship (or even know) the God of Israel, played a role in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy that had been made hundreds of years earlier (Micah 5:2) as to where the Messiah would be born, which demonstrates God's control over the actions of all nations.
There was no room in the Inn because God had "ordained" it to be so. You see, every event in the "Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ" is filled with messages from God using every form of communication imaginable, in order to reach every person who is looking for him. Every event surrounding the birth of Jesus is shocking and astounding to our worldly way of thinking, and God planned it so. Look at these excepts from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31: 1. the message of the cross [Jesus entire life] is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God 2. God says he will destroy the wisdom of the wise and frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent 3. God has made foolish the wisdom of this world 4. For since in the the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe 5. Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God 6. The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength 7. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth 8. God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise 9. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong 10. God chose the lowly things of this world, and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him 11. Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption 12. Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord Here are some examples of the "foolish" things that God did to "shame our wisdom." Let's keep in mind this fundamental truth - the creator and king of the universe was about to become a human being. a) John the Baptist, the messenger to prepare the way, was born to two very old people (a miracle), who were righteous and faithful to God's ways b) Mary, a young teenage girl, innocent in the ways of the world, was chosen to be Jesus's mother, a teenager who was righteous and faithful to God's ways c) God conceived the child in Mary by the Holy Spirit (a miracle) d) In the eyes of Jewish society, Mary's pregnancy was a huge disgrace for they believed she had slept with a man before getting married. Jesus was an illegitimate son in their eyes. God had to sent an angel to both Mary and Joseph to convince them of his plan and will (a miracle) e) God orchestrated all the events leading up to the birth in Bethlehem. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David who needed to register there (a miracle) f) Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, a backwater town in Galilee. One of the disciples later said "Could anything good ever come out of Nazareth?" g) There was no room in the Inn because God had ordained the most humble way for his Son to be born - in a barn full of noisy, smelly animals, laid to sleep in a feeding trough (a miracle) h) the birth announcement was declared through a host of angels, (a miracle) and was given to shepherds, one of the most despised groups in Jewish society i) God created a new star in the sky (a miracle) for wise kings who were familiar with the God of Israel through the writings of Daniel and his students in generations to follow j) the wise men follow the moving star (a miracle) until it stopped over Bethlehem and they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh - beautiful pictures showing us who Jesus is and would become k) Herod became furious about a new rival king and ordered the 'Massacre of the innocents" - all babies under 2 years old murdered in Bethlehem. l) Joseph and Mary must flee for their lives and become "refugees" in Egypt (a miracle) Our Lord God Almighty leaves nothing to chance. Everything he says and does - every word, picture, story, event - is a message to us. Will we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand - to welcome the Saviour into our own lives.
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