“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary and bowed down and worshipped him.” Matthew 2:11a
Magi or wise men from the east had been following the star to find the baby who was the king of the Jews. How they knew all of this is a mystery. But according to Matthew’s writing, there is a hint of another mystery. After traveling for miles, this band of Oriental astrologers found the young mother Mary with her son Jesus in a house, not a stable or a barn. What?! A House?! That’s not how it’s depicted in our Christmas manger scenes!
So, here lies the mystery. In whose house were they staying?
Was it the house of the innkeeper who had no room for them on that blessed night when they arrived in Bethlehem? Did he finally realize there was something special about this baby after the shepherds showed up to worship? Did he look up into the night sky and see the star leading him to worship Jesus as well and after doing so did whatever he had to do make room for them?
Was it the house of another family that God prompted to open their home to this young couple and their new baby? Possibly another young couple with a baby of their own who had all the things a young mother would need?
Was it the house of a long lost relative of a Joseph’s? After all Bethlehem was his family’s town of origin. Was he or she compelled to help a family member after they heard from the shepherds?
Or was it the house of a barren couple who longed for a child of their own? Or a widow with no grandchildren?
The possibilities are endless and we have no clue in the Bible as to who opened their home to this blessed family.
“Ok, it’s a mystery, so what’s that got to do with me?” you ask. Imagine you live in Bethlehem on that night just over 2000 years ago. What would you do if after you heard about Jesus from the shepherds and realized they were staying in a barn of all places? Would you say, “What a shame” and do nothing? Or would you open your home to strangers from Nazareth, the town you had always heard was not so desirable? Could this possibly be the reason that Matthew did not include the names and details of the homeowners, so that we would put ourselves in that mystery position?
We may never know who God directed to open their home for his Son and his earthly parents, but one thing is clear, God is still in the real estate business. He’s searching for places in which his Son can dwell until he returns to take his children to the ultimate property in heaven. Meanwhile, Jesus has many homes because he now resides in every person who believes he is the Savior of the world and Lord over all. That’s the kind of “house” he desires to live in, but he’s not going to force his way in. He wants to be invited in.
Have you invited him in? Or is there no room for him in your life? You can be sure the ones who opened their homes to Jesus as he walked on this earth were blessed beyond measure. And it’s the same today as it was all those many years ago. Open your home, your life to Jesus, the Savior and Lord of all and you too will be blessed.