I was wondering all about the Manger as the sign for Christmas- “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). But however, if we stand back and consider this one aspect of the Christmas story, some amazing truths emerge. We learn something about God, something about the world, something about Jesus, and something about His followers.
First, we learn that God uses adverse circumstances that make no sense at the time in order to accomplish His purposes in the future. At first glance, the fact that there was no room at the inn seems like an insignificant detail in the larger picture. But I assure you that it was no small detail to Mary and Joseph. Being turned away at the very moment when the baby was coming must have been devastating. Giving birth in a stable no doubt tested their faith to the limit. Both could not have foreseen how this “negative” turn of events would turn about to be part of God’s plan to bring his Son to the world.
Second, we learn also that the world had no room for Christ, and it has no room for Christ now. John 1:11 puts it very plainly: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” Jesus came “home” to His own people—and they wouldn’t take Him in. He came to the people who should have known Him best—and they wanted nothing to do with Him. They should have known better.
Third, we learn that His humiliation started early and continued to the very end. He was born outside because they wouldn’t let Mary and Joseph come inside. During His ministry, he told his disciples that “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He owned nothing but the clothes on his back, and when He was crucified, the soldiers gambled for his robe. When He died, they buried Him in a borrowed tomb.
Fourth, we learn that His followers share in His fate. We live with Him, we suffer with Him, we die with Him, and we reign with Him. Jesus challenged his disciples this way: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). When Christ calls us, He bids us come and die with Him.
And so finally we come to the very end i.e., what great truth lies behind the simple words of Luke 2:7. The “No Vacancy” signs were there for our benefit. God could have made a room available. He could have created a hospital or a palace in Bethlehem if He had so desired. God willed there would be no room in the inn not for the sake of Jesus, but for our sakes, that we might learn who Jesus is and why He came. Because there was no room in the inn, the final call is always individual. The world has no room for Jesus. Will you make room for Him in your heart? And that why my friends the Manger is a Unique sign of Christmas.