Sermons

Summary: A study of the word "innkeeper"

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

Introduction

1. Tonight we will continue our exploration of the ABCs of the Bible...

Tonight we will look at the letter I...

And in keeping with the spirit of the Christmas Season...

I is for Inn or Innkeeper...

2. But, before we get to the famous (or infamous) innkeeper from the Christmas story...

Let’s look at some other uses of inn or innkeeper...

Read Text:

Body

1. First, the Old Testament...

A. Jeremiah 9:2 says, “Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people.”

In this verse, Jeremiah, the prophet, expresses his disgust with God’s people...

They have fallen away from the covenant of following only God...

They lie, cheat, and steal...

They commit adultery...

in a word...they are living in sin...

And Jeremiah, as a devout, god-fearing prophet...

sometimes the sin is just overwhelming...

He has tried to preach the Word of God faithfully...

But the people have been unrepentant...

and now, he just wants to turn his back and get away from all

the mess...

In today’s vernacular...

Jeremiah would want to just go away to a hotel or motel...

get away from all these people...

go someplace where no one knows him...

where he doesn’t have to see their disobedience...

to just get away from it all.

B. Some commentators feel that in the Old Testament passages...

There is not always an assumption that there is an inn in the sense of there being an actual building...

Sometimes the Scripture seems to refer to a camping area...

a piece of ground near a source of water...

Paul Robertson says, “It is doubtful that inns in the sense of public inns with a building existed in Old Testament times.”

2. But, By the time we get to the time of Christ,

A. things are different.

Public inns are known to exist in Greek and Roman times...

The Greek word for “inn” in the New Testament implies some

type of stopping place for travelers.

A public inn during New Testament times consisted primarily of a wall for protection with a well for water for the animals and the travelers...

A large inn might have small rooms surrounding the court.

Inns in New Testament times had a bad reputation.

They weren’t the places of comfort that we think of with hotels and motels today...

at times, there was even danger from robbery or even death.

The primary services that were offered was a place to spread a bedroll...

a place for the animals...

and water.

B. Mark 14:12-15...refers to an inn or lodging place as a private home...

Read Mark 14:12-15...

So, in some cases, an inn would be just someone’s extra room that they would rent out to make some extra money...

C. In Luke 10:34 is the verse that tells about the good Samaritan who nurses back to health the man who was severely beaten and robbed

The good Samaritan then takes him to a public inn...

where the wounded man could be fed and taken care of by the innkeeper.

3. And, As we come to our text...

A. We can’t be sure exactly which type of inn this was...

Although because of the situation...

with all the people coming into town to register for taxing purposes...

we can imagine that Mary and Joseph tried to go to several places of lodging...

public inns...

private homes with rooms to rent...

and so on...

B. In Bible times...

public inns weren’t reputable places...

innkeepers were thought to be dishonest...

often trying to cheat people out of their money...

perhaps even arranging for his own guests to be robbed...

Rahab, the prostitute from the Old Testament...

who hid the Jewish spies who were checking out the Promise Land...

is thought to be an innkeeper by many commentators...

and obviously, prostitutes running inns isn’t the kind of thing that would be bragged about in polite company...

C. Luke 2:7 tells us that they could find no room to rent...

no place to stay...

certainly this wouldn’t be a very comfortable situation for any one...

especially under the circumstances with Mary being pregnant...

and since they are unable to find suitable lodging anywhere...

finally, the innkeeper agrees to let them stay in the stable...

In Luke 2:8, since the shepherds have the sheep out...

the stable may have been clean and empty...

and sometimes the stable was actually a cave with the manger being carved out of the stone wall of the cave...

As you can see, there is just a lot we don’t know about the conditions where Jesus was born...

we try to surmise by what we know of the times and of Scripture...

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion