There had not been any divine utterance or visits in roughly 400 years. It had been 400 years of no prophetic guidance. It had been about 400 years since the presence of the Lord lifted from the Temple according to the vision of Ezekiel. Israel had come under independent kings for about four centuries while the priests continued their dry worship in the Temple devoid of any divine intervention.
Oppression had increased. Leaders had become power drunk. Officials had joined hands with foreign governments and were exploiting their own country folks. However, the common citizen of the day secretly yearned in their hearts for the day the Lord would fulfil His vow to send them their Messiah and free them from their tribulations and afflictions.
Then the fullness of the Lord’s timing came. Angelic visits broke forth. Zachariah, an elderly priest, was the first to experience this. But because he had probably not seen such a scene since his long service in the Temple, he doubted the message of the angel which led to him being struck with dumbness. Afterwards, the shepherds, the wise men, Mary, and Joseph would all continue to see angels appear to them. In all these instances the Lord was preparing the grounds for the appearing of the Immanuel (Himself)—the One who was God with humanity.
While they were in Bethlehem to be enumerated according to the orders of Caesar Augustus, the time came for Mary to give birth to the Child she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Many individuals had arrived in Bethlehem because of the census. The hospitality industry was booming. Joseph had no place for his wife to birth her Divine Baby because there was not a room in the inn (guest house). Therefore, she had to deliver the most precious Child ever to have been born on earth in a Manger (feeding trough that belonged to animals).
As if that was not enough. When the news got to the ears of Herod, the president of the country then, he also could not find a ‘room’ to keep this Little Boy because he was told that Mary’s Son was Israel’s King. Once more, this Boy’s reign would be unassailable in contrast to Herod, which would end with his demise. Mary’s Son would will rule forever.
Filled with anger, envy and insecurity, Herod set out to eliminate the King of the Jews. He ordered that all male children from two years and below be killed (Matt. 2:16). For power, Herod would slaughter the children and bring tears to the eyes and sorrows to the hearts of the very people he was to care for as a leader. This makes the words of the psalmist very relevant. He queried, “why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?” But he answers himself saying, “the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed (Jesus Christ)” (Psalms 2:1-2).
But the mystery is that, the plan of God never fails. Whatever He purposes to do, He will do with many or with few, with the high or with the lowly, with the experienced or the inexperienced. He always makes room for Himself to fulfill His own plans. So you will realize that when He had no room in the inn, He found a room in the manger. Again, when He had no ‘room’ with Herod (Israel), He made a room for Himself in Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15).
Today, Jesus is still seeking a place to lay His head in our hearts. It is not as if He does not have a place to sleep! He is actually looking forward to blessing us with His presence in our lives. For it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being. He is the very fountain of life.
Therefore, as Paul puts it, we can hope for glory if we have Christ in us (Col. 1:27). If we can prepare Him room in our homes, in our work places, in our personal lives, in our marital lives, in our ministerial lives, in our worship, and in our social lives, we can hope to see His glory illuminate all these areas of our lives. For until today, Jesus is still standing behind the door, knocking and hoping to be given an entrance (Rev. 3:20) and seeking that we hand our lives wholly to Him to rule over.
However, keep in mind that if He cannot find a room with us, He will seek one elsewhere where He will be accepted. God has no favourites. He gives the right to become a child of God to anyone who believes in Him and accepts Him (John 1:12). But to those who make no room for Him, He says, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My words has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Therefore, today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Let every heart prepare Him room: Jesus is Lord!
Written by P/Overseer Isaac Kwabena Tagoe (Nanton District, Tamale)