Are you a parent?  If so, where was your child delivered?  Both of my children were born at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina under the care of a doctor and a full medical team.  I had medical personel coming in and out of my room throughout my labor and delivery.  It seemed like a three ringed circus at times.  When you’ve had that many people in and out of your room during delivery, you give up on the thought of dignity or privacy, but once you hear the piercing sound of your baby’s first cry, you don’t even care.

When reading the Christmas story, have you ever wondered why God had Mary deliver in a stable?  Why, when there were so many possibilities, did God choose the stable? Let’s face it, He could have tendered an inn keeper’s heart to make room for Mary and Joseph, but He didn’t.

They didn’t have hospitals, where Mary could be admitted for delivery.  Home deliveries were their only option.  Since Mary couldn’t stay home, her options were limited.  Joseph, being the caring man he was, hoped to find a nice, warm inn for Mary to deliver [Matthew 1:19]. When I started researching what inns were like in Jesus’ day, I found some very interesting articles.

One writer stated there were four types of inns in Jerusalem at that time.

  • One would be an inn for Greeks and Romans, which really wasn’t an option for Joseph and Mary because Jews and Gentiles didn’t mix [Acts 10:28].
  • There would also be an inn for the Jews, which would be ceremonially clean and serve only Kosher food.
  • The third would be similar to our bed and breakfast establishment, where a widow opened her home to travelers to stay in a spare room as a source of income. Again, this would only have been an option if the woman was Jewish and only allowed fellow Jews to stay there.
  • The final option would have been a field suitable for them to pitch a tent since many people in that time period were nomads.

The writer suggested option one and two were more like our modern day hostels where there’s one open room where everyone sleeps and in some cases share beds. This wouldn’t have been optimal for the delivery of a baby.

Another writer suggested Mary and Joseph would have naturally attempted to stay with family in Bethlehem, because that was the practice of the day.  The word inn in Luke 2:7 is kataluma, meaning guest chamber.  He suggested Mary and Joseph were rejected from staying with family in their guest chamber because she was pregnant and unwed at the time.

The bottom line is, no one knows why there was no room for them in any suitable establishment.  What we do know; however, is God provided.  The stable where Mary and Joseph lodged was private.  There was no one around to gawk or stare but the animals.   It was warm. They weren’t out in the open.  They were snug in the warmth of a stable with hay and animals. It was quiet.  There were no loud conversations among travelers sharing how long it took to travel to Bethlehem or rowdy children burning off nervous energy at the end of the day.

The Lord provided for Mary’s every need.

Many people look at the story of the birth of Jesus and think Mary and Joseph were treated harshly or rejected, when in reality, they were dearly loved and had their every need provided for in time for the arrival of the Christ-child.

Have you found your situation playing out differently than you planned?  Ask the Father to show you why He has allowed it to happen the way it has.  He has a plan and purpose for everything He does and His purposes are never thwarted [Job 42:2].  It just may surprise you to see how He has gone to great lengths for you.  What you see as bad or unfortunate with human eyes may be perfect in the eyes of the Lord.  Remember Isaiah 55:8,

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”