As I think about the scripture, Luke 2:7, I have to wonder about the inn’s metaphorical possibilities for today. Some have told us that the inn concerns the heart of man. If there is no room in one’s heart for Jesus, that one has decided to live for himself, or at least live his life without consideration of God. Probably the heart, as a metaphor, is accurate, possibly the most accurate of all possibilities. However, I would like to consider a more objective or visible metaphor in which there is no room for Jesus. What would such a thing look like?
David was a precursor of Jesus. Many events in his life pointed toward the greater David—Jesus, the Messiah. We are told in 1Samuel 16:7 that God doesn’t put value on the same things man does, because he looks upon the heart, while man almost always is impressed with the outward appearance of things. In other words, no one but God would have chosen David to be king over Israel. Similarly, no one but God, and those to whom God reveals him (Matthew 11:25-27), would be able to see value in Jesus. So, the first place I would look for a metaphor of Luke’s inn is something in which holds value only for men. That is, men are impressed with something that holds no inherent value for God.
Jesus said we need to beware that what we do for God isn’t really done for the applause of men, because, if we do, then men’s applause will be all the reward we’ll receive (Matthew 6:1-2). It has become more and more difficult to do this than ever before, because there are more and more ways to highlight the good we do. We can even find agencies in the world whose sole purpose is to make the good we do known to others, or the evil we do seem less evil or perhaps even good (cp. Isaiah 5:20). There is so much of this kind of thing going on in the world that I have to wonder what it may be doing to the church.
Paul said that he gloried in his weaknesses that Christ could be seen in the great and wonderful things he did (2Corinthians 12:9), and the things that men would have praised in Paul, he counted as a dung heap (Philippians 3:8). I am certainly not a good judge of how things should be done, but I do wonder about so many in the church doing things like the world does them, as it pertains to honoring the gifted among us. As I listen to introductions made of guests at my church or of Christian programming on television, it does give me pause. One is led to think that these brethren can and will solve just about any problem given them. Yet, I wonder how much room there is for Jesus in such things. After all, aren’t similar things said as the movers and shakers of this world are introduced on similar occasions (cp. Proverbs 20:6)? While it may be necessary from time to time to assert one’s qualifications for a given matter, is there a need for their mention every time one comes before a crowd? Nevertheless, as I said, I am not a good judge of how these things should be done. I am an uneducated man and ignorant of the proper etiquette in such matters. But, that said, I do have a difficult time seeing room for Jesus in the inn-troductions where gifted Christian men and women are known to abide (2Corinthians 10:17-18).
Jesus claimed we must become as a child in order to enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 10:15)—not many children have honors we could list for others to appreciate. He said we need to be as the younger (Luke 22:26a)—as one not having authority or power. Moreover, Jesus said we need to become the servant of all (Luke 22:26b; Matthew 10:44)—and servants labor at the pleasure of their masters. Finally, Jesus claimed that if we wish to be the greatest of all in heaven’s sight, we need to become last of all in men’s sight (Mark 9:35)—what accolades are reserved for those who come in last?
Paul gives us an example of being exalted to the highest place by God. It is Jesus who humbled himself. Not holding onto equality with his Father, Jesus chose to become flesh. Being found a man, Jesus humbled himself under authority, even the authority that condemned him to die (Philippians 2:6-10). May this mind be in us all (Philippians 2:5).
 As I said HERE, this current theme about the person of Jesus is based upon the book: The Jesus Style by Gayle Erwin. They are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Gayle wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read about Jesus.