And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger…
1. This was partly the result of ignorance. Had they known He was the Messiah, doubtless they would have acted otherwise.
2. But partly also the result of selfishness. Had there been more of a generous humanity in their hearts, some fitter place would have been found for Mary and her child.
I. We may take this inn as AN EMBLEM OF THE UNGODLY WORLD. What is the essential distinction between an inn and a home? In the one, as in the other, a number of individuals dwell together, but "home" involves the idea of vital unity — common life, feeling, experience. In an inn no mutual fellowship; each thinks only of his own interests. When Christ was born, the Roman Empire was just one huge inn, with no real cohesion, no vital unity, amongst the various provinces. Into this world of aggregated interests Christ came; and there was no room for Him. Even the Jewish nation, to whom more especially He came, was split up into sects and parties, each pursuing its own objects, although living under the same roof of a common history and a common religion; and so, when He came unto His own, they received Him not. Is it not the same in the world now?
II. AN EMBLEM OF MANY AN UNCHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD. Many a household does not at all realize the idea of a "home." Its members cat and sleep under the same roof; but this is more like an arrangement of temporary necessity than of loving choice. They need Christ as a bond of union; but they do not feel their need of Him, and so for Him they have no room.
III. AN EMBLEM OF THE WORLDLY HEART. It might be thought the very spirit of selfishness would impart unity to the worldling's nature. But no, for while his desires are imperious, they are often mutually conflicting. He needs a governing principle — Christ dwelling in the heart.
(T. C. Finlayson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.