The following is a guest post from Dr. Michael LeFebvre, pastor of Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, Indiana.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7, ESV)
This week is the time when society remembers the birth of Jesus, with nativity scenes popping up everywhere. The traditional scene of Mary and Joseph checking motels and finally bunking in a stable, is all based on the interpretation of one word in the above verse—a word which has probably been misunderstood in the motel-and-stable version of the story. The word in Luke 2:7 that is normally translated “inn” actually means “a lodging space.” This word can indeed refer to a public inn (as in Luke 10:34), but it often refers to the lodging room within a common house (as in Luke 22:11). Which does Luke have in mind in this verse: a public inn or the lodging space of a common house? Almost certainly the latter.
The reason Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem was because that was where Joseph’s family was from. That means Joseph had lots of […]