Imagine yourself in the feet of Joseph and Mary the day before Jesus was born. On a journey to Bethlehem, the had to go for between 80 to 90 miles to the City of David for the Roman census. The trek wasn’t an easy one for a pregnant woman and her husband. The night before the birth, Mary had to have been exhausted and ready to be done with this trip. She may not have complained out loud, but in her mind, she had to have had a few thoughts. Nothing could have prepared them for the moment they came to Bethlehem.
That was unexpected. Going around the city, they were trying to find a place to rest. This wasn’t 2018 where you could go on Travelocity and book your hotel. You were not guaranteed a place to sleep. Praying that the inn owners would have mercy on them, they went to each place. There was no room. Each place, due to the census, was packed to the rafters in people. There was no pity. There was no handout. There were no exceptions. There were no entitlement programs. The fact was that they would have no place to go.
That was unexpected. The King of kings was to be born albeit they did not know when or where and there was no place for Him. There was no room for Him to enter the world that He would later save. There was no pomp when Mary entered Bethlehem. It was business as usual and the fact that the King was to be born soon had no effect on the people.
That was unexpected. One inn owner would have mercy on their travels. All he had was an aminal stable to offer. There was no plush bed or warm blankets or air conditioner nor heater. It was a barn. Plain and simple. Joseph and Mary were humble enough to accept it. You and I? We’d balk at the notion of sleeping where animals lay.
That was unexpected. The journey came to an end and now it was time to rest. All this time, Joseph and Mary thought they were here for the census only to be surprised with the birth of Jesus. Mary wasn’t expecting this. Joseph wasn’t anticipating this. As a matter of fact, they did not have the book on What to Expect When You Are Expecting. They only had the angel that told them that God would be with them.
From the time Jesus was conceived, His life was full of unexpected events. Even to this day, we see that the Christian walk is full of unexpected events. Well, that is, unexpected to us. God isn’t surprised and will never be. He already has the plan mapped out. No different than the walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem for Joseph and Mary. Throughout scripture, I believe that God shows up in the unexpected. That is when we see His power most often.