Right from the very start, Jesus was inconvenient!
Consider Joseph, how inconvenient to be told by your girlfriend that she is going to have a baby, and imagine what people are going to say about you? It’s not even yours!
What about Mary? Imagine telling mum and dad that you’re pregnant, even though you are not married, and having to tell your boyfriend that you are pregnant—and the baby is not his! What will people say about you?
As if that’s not uncomfortable enough, imagine being nine months pregnant—about to have your baby any day—and because of some politician you have to travel all the way to Bethlehem? How inconvenient?!
Things weren’t exactly convenient for the innkeeper either. Imagine that you’ve booked out all your rooms and the No Vacancy sign is flashing, but you still get woken up from a deep sleep by loud banging on the door… all because they are about to have a baby and need a place to stay.
Think about the animals in the stable: Safe and tucked up for the night, peacefully sleeping when a baby’s first cry echoes around. Hay everywhere, and the feeding trough invaded by a tiny baby—how inconvenient!
The shepherds were also asleep, woken from their slumber by the sound of singing and the overwhelming glory of an angel choir! They were told to leave all their sheep—and risk losing some to thieves or wild animals—just to go looking for a baby!
What about the Wise Men? Convinced to go off on a long journey, traveling hundreds of miles with no map, no GPS—just a star to lead way.
Jesus’s birth was certainly inconvenient for King Herod, imagine discovering that this baby was to be a king? What a threat this would be to your own sense of security and comfort? Now wonder he took drastic action to stop such a threat!
Jesus is still inconvenient
Maybe, of all the people here, King Herod is the one we should most identify with…
Perhaps Jesus is inconvenient for us because he threatens our comfort and security by calling us to replace our “kingdom” with his?
Following Jesus is more than just the inconvenience of being in church on Christmas morning—it’s the inconvenience of living life according to different priorities.
This may mean:
- Inconvenience of meeting together regularly
- Inconvenience of helping in the children’s programme, or at youth group
- Inconvenience of speaking out in front or workmates
- Inconvenience of doing an honest day’s work
- Inconvenience of being mocked at school for your beliefs
- Inconvenience of turning off a TV show because you know it’s not good for you to watch
If we were to compile a list today of all the ‘inconveniences’ of following Jesus we could make it stretch from one end of the room to the other, and we would completely miss the point!
Remember that Jesus suffered deep ‘inconvenience’ for us.
Instead of thinking about the inconvenience Jesus causes, perhaps we are better advised to think about the inconvenience we cause him?
- Inconvenience of leaving the comfort and security of heaven
- Inconvenience of become a baby thoroughly dependent on two parents
- Inconvenience of growing up with rumours circulating about your conception
- Inconvenience of leaving home to spend three years walking dusty dirty roads
- Inconvenience of having religious leaders criticise and insult him
- Inconvenience of having one of his closest friends deny that they even know him, and another one betray him
- Inconvenience of having Roman soldiers drive nails through his hands and thrust a spear in his side
- Inconvenient to die without the sense of the presence of his Father
Why was Jesus willing to suffer all these inconveniences?
Because he thought he had to?
Because it was expected of him?
Because he’d feel guilty if he didn’t?
The answer is simple… He did it for love.
This Christmas—as we reflect on the ‘inconvenience’ of the Christmas narrative—let’s consider what this means for us: Hope of a future with Jesus, peace with God and with each other, and a Saviour who was more than willing to face inconvenience for the sake of love.
By Murray Brown, CCCNZ Youth Enabler