Luke 2:7 - Christ Excluded - Homilies By W. Clarkson
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 2:7 ESV
Little did the occupants of that inn at Bethlehem imagine who it was they were turning away when Joseph and Mary sought admission there. They did not realize, for they did not know, whom they were excluding. Practically they were declining to receive, not only the Messiah of their country, but the Savior of the world. What they did in guiltless ignorance, men too often do in wilful and culpable rejection. Jesus Christ is sometimes excluded by men—
I. FROM THEIR THEORIES OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT.
They have constructed such a perfect theory of government out of the operation of physical law, that there is no room at all for an interposing Savior. The whole space of their kingdom of truth is occupied.
II. FROM THEIR ESTIMATE OF THEIR INTELLECTUAL NECESSITIES.
They believe that, by applying their knowledge, their reasoning faculty, their intuitive powers, to nature and to mankind, they can reach all the conclusions there is any necessity to attain, All that is over and above this is redundant; there is no room in their sense of need for a Divine Teacher. Well did the Master say that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must become as a little child. The self-sufficiency of a complacent maturity thinks it has nothing to learn; it bars its doors; it sends the light of the world elsewhere; its little "inn" of knowledge and aspiration is occupied from floor to roof.
III. FROM THEIR ESTIMATE OF MAN'S SPIRITUAL WANTS.
Very many are they who are not unwilling to welcome a Guide, but who have no room for a Savior; for they have no sense of sin. They want to know which of the commandments they have broken. It does not occur to them that they have been owing to their great Creator, to their heavenly Father, to their Divine Friend, ten thousand talents of reverence, obedience, gratitude; and that they have been only offering to him a few poor pence, or that they have had nothing at all to pay. They are not conscious of a deep and wide gulf between their indebtedness and their discharge, and they go on their way not knowing that "the God in whose hand their breath is, and whose are all their ways, they have not glorified;" that they have sinned against the Lord, and need his abounding mercy. They, therefore, have no room for Christ, the Divine Propitiation, the great Reconciler of man to God.
IV. FROM THE HABIT OF THEIR LIFE.
Of all those who exclude Jesus Christ, the most numerous and perhaps the guiltiest are they who, recognizing his claims and his powers, refuse to welcome him to their hearts. Their lives are so crowded with cares, with the business of the market or of the household; or they are so filled up with the pleasures and the prizes of this world; or they are so occupied with pursuits which, if intellectual, are unspiritual, that there is no room for that Divine One who comes to speak of sin and of mercy and of the life which is spiritual and eternal, who claims to be trusted and loved and served as the Savior of the human soul and the Sovereign of the human life. So, while admitting his right to enter, they do not open the door. Alas! of what enlightening truth, of what blessed restfulness of heart, of what nobility of life, of what eternity of glory, do men bereave themselves by crowding out the Lord who loves them, by excluding the Redeemer from the home of their hearts
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