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There’s no home for you here

phire posted this interesting inn-resting meme!

(It’s Jesus, displeased by there being no room at the inn, and Jesus is represented by Gretchen Weiners, from the movie Mean Girls; I think this drawing was made by birdsite poster meakoopa.)

(This is gonna sound all “well, actually” but maybe it’s interesting trivia to some of y’all.)

The “no inn at the room” story from Luke 2, is later (in Acts 8) presented as a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah 53. So the same writer, “Luke” traditionally, introduced and resolved that plotpoint as “My father, who art in heaven, would be stoked AF that his li’l baby drama has some internal consistency”.

For example, Isaiah 53:3 says:

He’s such an outsider, a man of constant sorrow, who’s seen trouble all of his days.

That’s why Luke+Acts wrote the manger story. Maybe the “Luke” author reached a bit but it kind of works if you squint.

Isaiah 53:2 is even more beautiful:

He is an asphalt flower breaking free.

(John 12 and Romans 10 have similar takes.)

The inn/manger story is not in the other gospels, and non-canonical accounts have him born in a cave for some reason. “Inn” might even be pushing it, the textual word is καταλυματι which is more like a B&B. (“Guest room”, the KJV and its derivations call it, keeping open the traditional take that maybe it was less inn and more someone’s house they wanted to couch surf at.)

Of course, the Talmud, which doesn’t consider Luke+Acts as canon, has some other interpretations of Isaiah 53, where maybe Berachot is the most (to me) common sense: it applies to the suffering faithful believers collectively, not to just one dude.

There’s a bunch of other takes but 👭 fans might be into a sixth century Midrash called Ruth Rabbah where Isaiah 53 is called out to be about Ruth & Naomi. “To teach how great is the reward of those who do deeds of kindness….” Got to say I like that.♥ This Midrash does the entire Jewish bible and relates it to Ruth. What a treasure.♥

This “Everyone deserves the same dignity and respect as if they were the anointed king” theme is also in Matthew 25.

You fed me in my hunger, gaved me drink in my thirst. Took me in as a stranger, clothed me when I’d been stripped down. Stayed by my bed through my fever, and visited me in prison. Because when you were kind to every last sorry-ass son of a bitch, you were kind to me, and when you neglected or overlooked someone, damn you, that was me you were walking past!

Only goes to show that all human text and thought is so kaleidoscopic, self-similar, and fractal. Into it.♥