𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵. 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 𝟮:𝟲–𝟳
Now you would think that if God so rules the world as to use an empire-wide census to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, he surely could have seen to it that a room was available in the inn.
Yes, he could have. And Jesus could have been born into a wealthy family. He could have turned stone into bread in the wilderness. He could have called 10,000 angels to his aid in Gethsemane. He could have come down from the cross and saved himself. The question is not what God could do, but what he willed to do.
𝙂𝙤𝙙’𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙝, 𝙮𝙚𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙥𝙤𝙤𝙧. The “No Vacancy” signs over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your sake. “For your sake he became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
God rules all things—even motel capacities—for the sake of his children. The Calvary road begins with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem and ends with the spitting and scoffing of the cross in Jerusalem.
And we must not forget that he said, “𝙃𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙚 𝙢𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙮 𝙝𝙞𝙢𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙪𝙥 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙨” (𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙬 16:24).
We join him on the Calvary road and hear him say, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20).
To the one who calls out enthusiastically, “I will follow you wherever you go!” (Matthew 8:19). Jesus responds, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
Yes, God could have seen to it that Jesus have a room at his birth. But that would have been a detour off the Calvary road.
SOURCE: Taken from Good News of Great Joy (Daily Readings for Advent) by John Piper. © 2013