Summary: The innkeeper and the Bethlehemites, Herod and Court and the High Priest and Priests
Luke 2:1-7 – Don’t Miss the Baby
Story: On the night before Christmas, a young father scolded his 3 year old daughter for having wasted expensive gold tasselled ribbon on a Christmas present.
The next day however she gave him the present, a box wrapped with the golden tasselled ribbon.
When he opened the box, he saw there was nothing in it and began to tell his child off.
“You can’t give an empty box as a Christmas present” he said “It has to have something in it
“His daughter started to cry and then sobbed:
“Daddy, the box is full – it’s full of kisses for you”
It is so easy to miss the present if we are looking for something different.
Every Christmas we remember those who met
Jesus around the time of his birth, the Shepherds, Simeon, Hannah the prophetess and the Wise men.
But do we ever stop to think about THOSE who MISSED Him – God’s chosen one – Jesus.
Why, because they didn’t recognise God’s present to them. To them it was like “the box full of kisses”
The first group I’d like to look at is:
1. The Innkeeper and the Bethlehemites
Inns in those days weren’t smart five star hotels.
They were a bit more like campsites - rough and ready with no running water!
We are told, by St Luke, that in 4BC - the year of Jesus’ birth - there were many travellers in Bethlehem because of the census.
Caesar Augustus, the big cheese of the day needed money so he imposed a tax.
And to ensure he got it all, everyone in Israel had to go and register for the census where they were born so that they could pay their taxes.
This meant that Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem.
As they had to walk - and pregnant women don’t travel quickly. When they finally arrived at Bethlehem, the inn was full.
There was no room for them.
If the innkeeper had known who was going to be born that night - he would probably have found room in his inn. But he was too busy and missed the boat - or should I say the Baby.
He was just too busy with running a business to recognize that this Baby was going to be the one who would save all of mankind.
The Bethlehemites also missed the baby because they were too busy with other things to notice one little baby - but WHAT a Baby.
Are you like the innkeeper and the townsfolk– too concerned what the world has to offer – job, cash - or lack of it and worldly ambition? Or are you simply too busy to spend take time?
If so, can I suggest that this Christmas you stop and take stock of WHO this baby really is - and what he can offer.
The second group of people to miss Jesus’ birth was King Herod and his Court:
2. King Herod and his Court
The Wise Men knew a new king had been born - because a special star appeared to them in the East - which means that they travelled west to Jerusalem.
And St Mt records that they followed this star and landed up at Herod’s, asking where they can find this new king. Actually it wasn’t a bright question because any king would feel threatened.
But Herod was no ordinary king. He was first and foremost paranoiac.
Caesar Augustus is once reputed to have said that he'd "rather be Herod's pig than his son!"
And we know from history Herod killed at least one son and a wife - his favourite wife - for allegedly plotting against him.
So he wasn’t too excited to hear about a competitor being born.
In fact he was so upset that he ordered the murder of all baby boys under 2 years of age living in Bethlehem.
Herod and indeed his Court were scared of this new king - because they thought that they would lose their power and influence.
They missed the Baby because they were scared of what it might cost them.
There are many people who live today - people who are living like Herod and his Court.
They are not willing for Jesus to be crowned as King in their lives - and so they miss out on meeting the baby.
Do you need to allow Jesus the heavenly king to take the throne of your life this Christmas?
The last Group of people to miss Jesus’ birth were the
3. The High Priest and the religious leaders
The last person who missed Jesus was probably the one man who SHOULD HAVE met him – the High Priest.
In those days, the Jewish High Priest was seen as God’s representative on earth to the Jewish people.