Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough – because there was no room for them at the lodging place. Luke 2:7 HCSB
The traditional scenes of Christ in the manager surrounded by shepherds and wise men with the bright star shining down to light the scene is probably not very accurate. Realistically, the scene would have been very dark with minimal light because it would have been inside a cave, which was where most stables were made to hold animals. There probably would have been several different types of animals – sheep, goats, horses, and cows. One can only imagine the odor from the animals. The manager or feeding trough would have been made out of stone with hay inside it.
The shepherds who came to see the Christ child probably would not have brought the sheep they were watching. Some of the shepherds would have stayed to care for the sheep while others went to the city to check out the validity of the message they had heard from the angels. Finally, the wise men would not have arrived until approximately two years later and would have found Jesus as a young boy and certainly not living in a stable.
Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for Him in the lodging place. The stable was just what God ordered. Mary and Joseph would have had more privacy in the stable for it provided a much better place to give birth to a child. I can imagine but can not prove that the wife of the innkeeper may have been a midwife or knew a midwife who could assist with the birth. Jesus came as a humble servant, not as a king or ruler. Jesus came for all people, especially for the common people, not for the priests and religious leaders. God’s plan is always best, even when it does not seem logical.
Challenge: Do you have room for Jesus in your life? Will you make time each day for Jesus or are you too busy to take time for Him? He came into our world as a little child, but we must not leave Him there. We must see the rest of His life and His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. We must see Him as our Lord and Savior and more than just a tiny child in the manager.