NO ROOM FOR JESUS.
And laid him in a manger, because there waa no room for them In the Inn.'* Luke 2:7.
You will find my text this evening in the 2d chapter of the Gosgel of Luke, a part of the 7th verse: "And laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." For four thousand Tears the world had been looking for Christ. Prophets, had been prophesying, and the mothers of Israel had been praying and hoping that they might be the mother of that child; and now he has arrived, *» find that he is laid in a borrowed cradle. "There was no room Ar them in the inn." He might have come with all the grandeur •nd glory of the upper -world. He might have been ushered into this world with ten thousand angels; yea, legions upon legions of angels might have come to herald his advent. He might have been born in • palace or a castle. He might have been born upon a throne, if he iad chosen to; but he just became poor, for your sake and mine. He passed by mansions and thrones and dominions, and went down into a manger. His cii^.1" was not only borrowed, but almost everytiiing that he had was borrowea. It was a borrowed beast he rode iato Jerusalem on; it was a borrowed grave they laid him in. When the Prince of Wales came to this country, what a welcome he received. There wasn't anything too good for him. When the Prince o/ Russia came to this country, I saw him as he was escorted up Broadway; and cheer upon cheer went up all the way. New York felt honored that they had such a guest. The Prince of Wales during the past few months has been in India, and what a reception be has been receiving there! Even those heathen are glad to do him honor. When the Prince of heaven came down, what kind of a reception did he meet with? There were no hallelujahs from the people. He found that there was no room in Bethlehem for him; there was no room in Jerusalem for him. When he arrived at Jerulajem not only the King, but all Jerusalem was troubled. When the wise men told Herod: "He is King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the East," not only the King upon the throne, but all Jerusalem was in trouble; and every man that had been looking for him seemed to be troubled, and the whole city is excited. The King sends out and commands all infants under a certain age to be slain. No sooner the news comes that he is born than the sword is unsheathed, and follows him, you may say, to Calvary.
And has the world grown better? Is not this world about like that little town in Bethlehem? There is no room for him? What nation wants him to-day? Does this nation want him? Suppose you should put it to a popular vote, I don't believe there is a town in the whole republic that would vote for him. Does England want him? England and the United States are perhaps the most Christianized countries on the globe; but I don't believe there is a town in England or in this country that would vote for him. In fact, I may say, does the Church of God want him? We have got the forms; we are satisfied with them: but we deny the power. I am ashamed to say that there are many of our churches that really would not want him. There would be a different state of things in the Church of God, to-day, if Christ should come. A great many church members do not want him; they say: "My life is not right." There are very few families in the whole city of New York that would make room for him. They would make room for the greatest drunkard in New York, rather than make room for him. Don't think the world is better if it don't make room for him. If he should go to Washington, do you think they would make room for him there? If a man should
fet up in congress and say, "Thus saith the Lord," they would hoot im out. If Christ should go there, they would say: "He is too good; he is too honest; we don't want him; we don't want honest men." When it comes to a real, personal God, the world don't want him; the nations of the earth don't want him. Does France want him? Does Italy want him? Oh, my friends, there is no room for Christ; yet it would be a glorious day if there was room for him. I believe the millennium would soon be here. When he went to Decapolis, he found a man there filled with devils, and he cast out those devils; and the men of Decapolis came out and besought him to go out of their coasts. Take what you call the fashionable society of New York; is he wanted there? They will talk about this church and that church; they will talk about Dr. So-and-so, and the Rev. Soand-so, and talk about the Bible in schools; but when it comes to a real, personal Christ, and you ask them, "Do you want Christ in your heart?" they say, "O sir, that is out of taste." I pity the man or woman that talks in that way. Is he wanted in commerce? Is he wanted on 'Change? If he was, men would have to keep their books different. Commercial men don't want him.
You may ask the question: "Well, where is he wanted; who wants him? Where is there room for the Son of God? Who will make room for him?" I wonder if there is any one here that ever had that feeling for five minutes. I think I have had that feeling for a day. There ire some who wonder how people can commit suicide. It's no wonder to me. When men feel that there is no room for them, that no one wants them; when they feel that they are a burden to their friends, and a burden to themselves, why it drives them mad. I remember, one day, when I felt as if no one wanted me. I felt as if there was no room for me. For about twenty-four hours, I had that awful feeling that no one wanted me. It seems to me as if that must have been the feeling of Christ. His neighbors didn't want him; those Nazarenes didn't want him; they would have taken him to the brow of the hill and dashed him to the bottom; they would have torn him limb from limb, if they could. He went down into Capernaum; they didn't want him there. Jerusalem didn't want him; there was no room. To me, there is one of the most touching verses in the Bible, in the closing part of the 7th chapter of John. I believe it i»the only place where Christ was left alone: "Every man went to his own house, and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives." I have often thought I would like to have met him upon that mount. He was on the mount alone. There was no home for him in Jerusalem. He was looked upon as a blasphemer; some thought he was possessed of devils; and so he was left alone. You could have seen him under an olive tree, alone, and I imagine that night you could have heard him crying to God for his own. And perhaps it was on that memorable occasion, or a similar occasion, when he said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Thanks be to God, there was a place. I have often thought of that little home at Bethany. It says tiat Martha received him into her home. It was the best thing that Martha ever did; and do you think she ever regretted it? Little did she know that her loved brother was soon going to die, when she made room for Jesus. Ah, it was the best thing that Martha and Mary ever did when they received the village carpenter, the despised Xazarene, into their home. He used to have a walk down from the city two miles to Bethany; but there he always found room.
But look again, look in that home where Lazarus comes home
sick. Some think his occupation was that of a scribe, that he was a
writer, and one day he came home weary; perhaps he had headache,
and feyer seized him. One of the leading physicians of Jerusalem
is sent for, and the third or fourth day he tells the sisters: "There
is no hope for your brother, he is dying, he cannot live." And when
all earthly' hope had failed, and they had given up, then the sisters
sent for Jesus. Those two sisters sent a messenger, perhaps one of
the neighbors, off from Bethany; perhaps he would have to go
twenty or thirty miles away, on the other side of Jordan, for they heard Jesus was there. They did not have papers in those days to tell them where he was, and if there had been papers they wouldn't have reported his meetings. There wouldn't have been a paper that would have taken the pains to report his meeting. They instructed the messenger to say, "Him who thou lovest is sick." That was enough. What a title to have to a man's name!—what a eulogy to have to a name! And when the messenger came and told the message, he told him that him whom he loved was very sick; and the Lord Jesus turned to him and said, "I will go. Take back word to those two sisters. The sickness is not unto death, but I will come." And I can see those two sisters. How eager they are to find out what his success had been." "What did he say?" and the messenger answers, "Why, he said the sickness was not unto death; and he would come and see Lazarus." I can imagine Mary turns to the messenger and says, "I don't understand that. If he were a prophet, he would certainly have known that Lazarus is dead; for he was dying when you went away, and he was already dead when he said the sickness is not unto death. Are you sure he said that?" "Yes, that was what he said." It might have been the second day after his death and he didn't come; and they watch and wait, and the third day they look for him. "Why, it is so strange that he treats us in this wajy." The fourth day comes, and it is noon; yet he has not come. I can imagine that on the fourth day in the afternoon they receive word that Jesus is just outside of the walls of Bethany •with his disciples; and when lie comes Martha says to him: "If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died," and hear what gracious •words fall from the lips of Jesus, "Thy brother shall live again." "Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day." Hear the blissful words that fall from the lips of the Son of God: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that belie vet h in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Little did Martha think that he whom she was entertaining was the Resurrection and the Life, and what a privilege it was to have such a guest! And Christ says, "Where is Mary? go, call her." So Martha goes and calls Mary, and says, "Mary, the Master is come, and calleth for thee." Isn't there some Mary to-day whom he is calling for? Isn't there some unsaved Mary within these walls whom he is calling for? If there is, he wants to bind up your heart—he wants to take away your sin. And when Mary comes, she meets him with the very same words that fell from the lips of Martha: "If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died;" and Christ says, "Where have ye laid him?" And now look at him. Those two sisters are standing near him, and perhaps are telling him of the last moments of Lazarus, and how their hearts had been bleeding all these four days. And when he saw th weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with them, the h
ol the Son of God was moved with compassion, and "Jesus wept." For it says, "He wept with them that wept," and the tears were streaming down his cheeks. "Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him." And when Jesus came to the grave he said, "Take ye away the stone." But Martha says: "lie has been dead four days, and by this time it is not proper to go near him." But he commanded them to take away the stone. "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew thou nearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that- they may believe that thou hast sent me." And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." Some one has said, it was a good thing he called him by name, for if he hadn't, all the dead men in that yard would have leaped up. "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand aud foot with grave-clothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, 'Loose him and let him go.'" In the little town of Bethany now, the sun is just sinking behind one of those Palestine hills; and it is now about dusk. You can see the Son of God perhaps, with Lazarus hold of his arm; and they walk through the street. Ah, that was the happiest home on earth that night. I believe there •was no happier home than that in Bethany that night. Isn't it the very best thing that you can do to make room for him?
Mothers, if you will make room lor him, you will entertain the best guest, the best stranger, you ever entertained. Ah, Martha didn't know how near death was to that home when she received Christ, and, dear friends, you don't know how near death may be to you; and when death comes, what a comfort it is to have Christ to help os, to have his arms underneath us and bear us up. You need him, and had better make room for him; and if you make room for him here in your hearts, he will make room for you up there. He says in that chapter which I read: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare » place for you." Instead of his disciples comforting Christ, there is Christ trying to comfort them. And now, while he is up yonder preparing a place for us, shall we not make room for him down here? If the nations won't make room for him; if the church won't make room for him; if the families won't make room for him, thanks be to God, we can make room for him in our hearts. He says, Ye are the temples of the Holy Ghost. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?" Will you make room for him this afternoon? Young lady, is there room for self? Is there room for the world? Ib there room for pride? Is there room for jealousy? Is there room for every one and everything else but the Son of God? Will jou turn him away, or will you to-day make room for him? Isn't it the very best thing you can do to make room for Christ? When he made this world, he made room for us, plenty of it. He made room for himself in our hearts, but a usurper has come. My friends, won't you let the Son of God into your hearts; and won t you let him dwell with you? The only room the world found for him was just on the cross. Now, suppose he were to come here, shall he coine into this hall, and shall he go through this assembly, and shall- he not find room in your hearts and mine? Will your heart be full like that full inn, in Bethlehem; or will you this afternoon, just while I am speaking, say, "Lord Jeaus, I make room for you in my heart!" Mother, ought not gratitude for him who has made a place for your loved ones in heaven, lead you to make room for him? Won't you say, "Here is plenty of love; won't you come and dwell in my heart?" Just the very minute you receive him, he will come. Am I speaking this afternoon to some poor fallen woman? Let me say to you, he received just such; and to-day he will come into your heart, if you will just make room for him. How many are there in this audience to-day that never have thanked the Lord Jesus for the blessings he has showered upon theml And, my friends, don't let this beautiful Sabbath pass without saying, "Jesus there shall be room in my heart for thee hereafter;" and then, by-and-by, he will receive you up yonder. If you will make room for him here in your heart, you may be sure he will make room you in one of his Father's mansions. Oh, this day and this hour, my friends, make room for Christ! Dear friends, don't you want him? To-day won't you make room for him? Won't you just bow your heads; and when pray, pray that every soul that wants Christ may come to him?