And [Mary] 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.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Jesus was laid in a manger because there was no room for Him.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): Now also, there is seldom room for Christ in an inn.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): Now, they are frequently haunts for the idle and the profligate, the drunkard and the infidel―in short, for any kind of guests except Jesus and His genuine followers.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Here I am induced to relate a memorable story. While we were supping in a certain inn, and speaking of the hope of the heavenly life, a profane despiser of God happened to be present, who treated our discourse with derision, and now and then mockingly exclaimed, “The heaven of heavens is the Lord’s.” Instantly afterwards he was seized with dreadful pain, and began to vociferate, “O God! O God!” and, having a powerful voice, he filled the whole apartment with his cries. Then I, who had felt indignant at his conduct, proceeded in my own way, to tell him warmly that now at least he perceived that they who mocked God were not permitted to escape with impunity.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): And this leads us to the second remark, that there were other places besides the inn which had no room for Christ. Might there not be found some room for Christ in what is called good society? Were there not in Bethlehem some people that were very respectable, who kept themselves aloof from the common multitude; persons of reputation and standing—could not they find room for Christ?
Ah! dear friends, it is too much the case that there is no room for Him in what is called good society. There is room for all the silly little forms by which men choose to trammel themselves; room for the vain niceties of etiquette; room for frivolous conversation; room for the adoration of the body, there is room for the setting up of this and that as the idol of the hour, but there is too little room for Christ, and it is far from fashionable to follow the Lord fully. The advent of Christ would be the last thing which society would desire; the very mention of His name by the lips of love would cause a strange sensation. Should you begin to talk about the things of Christ in many a circle, you would be tabooed at once. “I will never ask that man to my house again,” so-and-so would say, “if he must bring his religion with him.” Folly and finery, rank and honour, jewels and glitter, frivolity and fashion, all report that there is no room for Jesus in their abodes.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Christ, who had all riches, scorned earthly riches; He was born poor, the manger was His cradle, the cobwebs His curtains: He lived poor, He had not where to lay His head: He died poor, He had no crown-lands, only His coat was left, and that the soldiers parted among them: and His funeral was suitable, for as He was born in another man’s house, so He was buried in another man’s tomb.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): When the love of money begins to creep over us, let us think of the manger at Bethlehem, and of Him who was laid in it.
C. H. SPURGEON: Who would think of finding Christ there?
A. W. PINK: He was laid in a manger to show His contempt for worldly riches and pomp. We might think it more fitting for the Christ of God to be born in a palace and laid in a cradle of gold, lined with costly silks.
C. H. SPURGEON: Alas! my brethren, seldom is there room for Christ in palaces! How could the kings of earth receive the Lord? He is the Prince of Peace, and they delight in war!…How could kings accept the humble Saviour? They love grandeur and pomp, and he is all simplicity and meekness. He is a carpenter’s son, and the fisherman’s companion. How can princes find room for the new-born monarch? Why He teaches us to do to others as we would that they should do to us, and this is a thing which kings would find very hard to reconcile with the knavish tricks of politics and the grasping designs of ambition…State-chambers, cabinets, throne-rooms, and royal palaces, are about as little frequented by Christ as the jungles and swamps of India by the cautious traveler. He frequents cottages far more often than regal residences, for there is no room for Jesus Christ in regal halls.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): As there was no room for Him in the inn in Bethlehem, so there was no quiet room for Him in the land of Judea.
C. H. SPURGEON: But there were senators, there were forums of political discussion, there were the places where the representatives of the people make the laws. Was there no room for Christ there? Alas! my brethren, none, and to this day there is very little room for Christ in parliaments. How seldom is religion recognised by politicians! One or two will give Him a good word, but if it be put to the vote whether the Lord Jesus should be obeyed or no, it will be many a day before the ayes have it.
WILLIAM GREENHILL (1591-1677): Politicians think it weakness, foolishness, to suffer for religion. They can change it at pleasure, and fall in with that which hath most pomp and applause in the world.
C. H. SPURGEON: But is there not room for Him on the exchange? Cannot He be taken to the marts of commerce?―Ah! dear friends, how little of the spirit, and life, and doctrine of Christ can be found here! The trader finds it inconvenient to be too scrupulous; the merchant often discovers that if he is to make a fortune he must break his conscience…Bankruptcies, swindlings, frauds are so abundant that in hosts of cases there is no room for Jesus in the mart or the shop.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): And now, universities and schools of learning have too little.
C. H. SPURGEON: There is very little room for Christ in colleges and universities, very little room for Him in the seats of learning―universities and colleges often obscure the truth by their modes of speech.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): I much fear the universities will become wide gates to hell.
A. W. PINK: How solemnly this brings out the world’s estimate of the Christ of God―there is no room for Him in the schools, in society, in the business world, among the great throngs of pleasure seekers, in the political realm, in the newspapers, nor in many of the churches. It is only history repeating itself. All that the world gave the Saviour was a manger, a cross on which to die, and a borrowed grave to receive His murdered body.
C. H. SPURGEON: ‘Ye are not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world,’ John 15:19. Thank God, you need not ask the world’s hospitality. If it will give you but a stage for action, and lend you for an hour a grave to sleep in, ’tis all you need; you will require no permanent dwelling-place here, since you seek a city that is to come, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.