“There was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).
“Where is the guest-chamber where I shall eat the passover with My disciples?” (Luke 22:11).
It is a matter of interest that the words as translated “room” and “guest-chamber” in the above quoted passages are the translation of the same word in the original Greek.
The Saviour, the Son of God, came into His own world and among His own earthly people Israel, but was rejected at the very outset. “No room” was found for Him in the crowded caravanserai. A stable floor and a manger cradle were all that could be or would be offered for His reception at His birth. This cold callous treatment was indicative of what He might look for throughout His earthly sojourn.
A borrowed manger at His birth. A borrowed boat for a pulpit. A borrowed cushion for a pillow. A borrowed penny for an illustration. A borrowed grave at His death. Such conditions marked His pathway among men, while every footfall was for the glory of His Father. But all this was befitting. It was morally impossible for the Lord of glory to truckle to human greatness. “The foundations of the earth” were “out of course.” And thus He was found, the
“Ever homeless stranger”
in the world His hands had made.
But divine grace opened the hearts of some, and out of His fullness blessing flowed in abundance to them.
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God even to them that believed on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). These favoured ones welcomed Him to their hearts and to their homes. They were to Him as Elims amid the Marahs of the world at large.
We may instance how “A certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.” And that little home at Bethany became a pleasant place of resort to
“The Scorned, the Despised, the Rejected.”
“He knew all men.” And so it was that as the end drew near, when, to fulfil a prophecy, He needed the foal of the ass He could send His disciples to find one at “a place where two ways met.” “The Lord hath need of him!” was enough for its owner, and it was sent promptly for the Master’s use.
Again in His omniscience, He could direct His servants to the man bearing the “pitcher of water.” The exact time and point of meeting were known to Him. And He was well acquainted with the place available for Him where He might eat the Passover with His disciples. “Where is My guest-chamber?” (for so we should read it) was to be the question of His messengers to the good man of the house. How plainly it is shown that, to Him,
“All hearts are open and all desires known.”
And this amid the contumely and shame which were being heaped upon Him as He trod the solitary way of supreme sorrow to Calvary.
“My guest chamber!”
Shall we ask ourselves if our hearts are such for Him in the world where He is the unwelcomed, the unwanted One? For such He is still even among many who profess to be His followers.
Well it is if we can say,
“Make my heart Thy palace,
And Thy royal throne.”
Let us consider that Jerusalem guest chamber for a little. Important lessons may be learned therefrom.
It was “a large room.”
It was an “upper room.”
It was furnished.
It was “prepared.”
“A large room.”
Our hearts should be large for our Lord and for His own. “All saints” must be embraced in our thoughts of our fellow believers. “All the world” is to be remembered as to the gospel message.
An “upper” room. Above the noise of man’s world of business and of pleasure. Our Christian calling is happy but it is holy, and it is heavenly. We who believe are “not of the world even as” our rejected Lord and Master is “not of the world.”
Furnished. It was equipped with all necessary couches and table. A place of rest and communion.
“Prepared.” All was clean and in order and “made ready,” for HIS reception and for that of His own, immediately when required. It was “Ready for service.” (Are we not reminded here of those who could say to another rejected one “Thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint” (2 Sam. 15:16)? Or again, of “a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21)?
“My guest-chamber.” It was His. The good man of the house was but a steward in charge of that upper room.
And we are His. His precious blood which has cleansed us claims us for His service. “Ye are not your own . . . for ye are bought with a price.” (And this is true of all believers.) The words are clear and clamant and commanding.
Do we recognise this rightly? Do we acknowledge that the ownership is His of our life, our time, our possessions?
Can we honestly sing,
“Oh! Jesus Lord! and Master!
I give myself to Thee,
For Thou in Thine atonement
Did’st give Thyself for me.
I own no other Master,
My heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give henceforth to live,
Oh! Lord for Thee alone”?
“Them that honour Me I will honour,” stands as His message to us today while we await His return.