The Steadfast Faith of Joseph and Mary

"There was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)

Those familiar with the Christmas story, known by multiplied millions around the world, often make the small incident of no vacancies at the inn something of a cute product of the trip to Bethlehem.

Few in the United States have ever been stranded without shelter for a short time--let alone have had to give birth in an animal pen. Most of us will never have to know just how isolated and abandoned Joseph and Mary must have felt that first Christmas Eve.

Both of them knew that this Child would be "Son of the Highest" (Luke 1:32). Both of them had had personal visits from the Chief Angel, Gabriel. Both of them knew that the Father of this Son was none other than the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). And both of them had willingly obeyed God's instruction (Matthew 1:24 and Luke 1:38). They had every human right to expect "special treatment" and recognition for their faith and obedience.

Instead, however, the false rumors that had troubled Joseph about Mary's infidelity (Matthew 1:18-19) continued to swirl around them, and the long trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem only added to the plight of their social ostracism and poverty. The Bible does not tell us how long they were looking for shelter--we are only told that "while they were there" (Luke 2:6) Mary had to deliver the Child in a manger.

Until the shepherds came with their wonderful story of the angelic chorus, Joseph and Mary had no word of verification in addition to no room for their rest. And although they were in a house (Matthew 2:11) when the wise men came, nearly two years had gone by (Matthew 2:16) before they received the gifts that would sustain them for several years in Egypt.

Remember these two wonderful saints this holiday for their steadfast faith and unwavering obedience. HMM III

New Testament
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