Summary: We take a candid look at our role as Innkeepers, the major excuses for turning Christ away, and the final journey we will all make to the Heavenly Inn. Will He be forced to turn us away because we wouldn't let Him in?
AM I THE INNKEEPER?
Luke 2:1, 4-7
A. HUMOR: WHEN JOSEPH WENT ROGUE
1. The Director of the Christmas play was nervous when she cast Jimmy, the middle-school class clown, as Joseph in the Christmas Pageant.
2. Her fears were realized when Jimmy decided to do a little improvisation by pulling out his cell phone in the pageant’s opening scene.
3. The astonished Director, who was narrating, whispered, “What are you doing with your phone?”
4. Jimmy smiled and replied, “This year I’m phoning that inn to make a reservation!”
1And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered [taxed]. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Lk. 2:1, 4-7; NKJV.
1. Joseph & Mary had just traveled a difficult road. When they arrived at Bethlehem, Mary was obviously about to give birth. Joseph plead from door to door for a room – “She’s going into labor! Help us!”
2. But they were gruffly turned aside, “NO ROOM!” The inn keeper probably turned away with the philosophy, “Too bad; that’s life.” The jingle of the cash register was the music his ears were tuned to.
3. How near to fame was this Innkeeper? There is no record in scripture that Jesus ever used this inn to lodge in during his lifetime. The sad fact is this: for the innkeeper this was his one and only chance to lodge the King of Kings. It never came again. For some of you, today may be your only chance to receive the Savior.
4. We’re going to consider our role as Innkeepers, the major excuses for turning Christ away, and the final journey we will all make to the Heavenly Inn.
I. YOU ARE AN INNKEEPER
A. WE THINK, “I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT”
We all think we would have treated Joseph and Mary differently, but I'm reminded of the story of a similar situation here in the U.S. a few years ago:
1. Oklahoma City made startling and shocking news Sunday morning, December 6, 1964. A 31 year old mother gave birth to a child on the sidewalk at the corner of Sheridan and Broadway.
2. A curious crowd "watched without helping." The woman and her baby lay on the pavement for about 45 minutes in a temperature of about 34°.
3. A visitor from Tulsa summoned a taxi but the driver refused to take the mother to the hospital. A helpful stranger called the police, to no avail. Two patrol cars passed the scene and neither stopped.
4. A former state representative called the fire department and went across the street to a hotel to borrow a blanket, but the receptionist refused him.
5. Finally, after a prolonged wait for an ambulance, Capt. Bill Latham of the fire department and the former representative, Bob Cunningham, decided to take the mother & her child to the hospital in Bob's car, & they did.
6. Other examples could be cited of how hundreds of people have walked by an injured person and didn’t stop to help them. We all frequently pass cars that are broken down or ignore street beggars -- we don't feel it our responsibility to help. That's not unlike what the innkeeper felt that night.
B. THE HEAVENLY GUEST & HIS REQUIREMENTS
1. The Bible tells us that we are all Innkeepers and that Jesus is to be our heavenly Guest. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and
opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” Rev. 3:20. So Jesus is knocking at your heart’s door, wishing to come in.
2. Have you ever had a needy friend or relatives come to stay for a week? For that time period, your life is not the same. Your space has been invaded; you have to make adjustments to accommodate your guests. The same is true for those who choose to become followers of Jesus.
3. The Bible says, “Then Christ will make his home in your heart…” (Ephesians 3:17, NLT). When we get genuinely “born-again,” Jesus enters the “home of our hearts.”
4. What does it mean for Him to be truly at home in our hearts? How are we to adjust our lives to accommodate our Heavenly Guest?