\”and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.\”
Luke 2:7 (TNIV)
Christmas is all about Christ\’s birth. He is God\’s gift to humankind. He was sent to reconcile us. He also showed us what God was like. Rather that transport into earthly life or appear, like an angel, Jesus was born to an obscure set of parents, under obscure circumstances, at an obscure time, and in a very obscure place.
He wasn\’t born in the finest hospital of the day, nor in a palace, and not on a mountain top. He was born in a room that western minded moderns think of as a stable, where animals lived and were sheltered for the night, just like you would find on most farms or ranches today. Actually, it was a room in the house where the animals lived and had shelter for the night. Historians believe it was actually a cave.
Many Bible translations state that Jesus was placed in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. We easily picture and full hotel. Western English translators choose Inn, but the word that Luke uses actually has more to it that just meaning inn: The word Kataluma can mean:
- an inn, lodging place
- an eating room, dining room
We can get a further clue of what Luke had in mind when we look at the one other time he used this word and it was for the upper room where Jesus had his last supper. The upper room and the place where there was no more room may just refer to an extra room where you could have a dinner party or lodge guests.
But whatever the places were that were full, Jesus ended up being born in the lowest form of real shelter, where the animals were housed. What does this mean? Is it a sign that makes you wonder?
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