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The Innkeeper

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  166 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Only two weeks from his crucifixion, Jesus has stopped in Bethlehem. He has returned to visit someone important--the innkeeper who made a place for Mary and Joseph the night he was born. But His greater purpose in coming is to pay a debt. What did it cost to house the Son of God?

Through this imaginative poem, John Piper shares a tale of what might have been - the story of
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published September 14th 2011 by Crossway Books (first published October 15th 1998)
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Shanna Gonzalez
Dec 09, 2009 Shanna Gonzalez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-12
Every year John Piper writes an Advent poem as a gift for the congregation of Bethlehem Baptist Church. This one tells a fictionalized story of the innkeeper who housed Joseph and Mary.

Most Nativity retellings emphasize the fact that there was "no room in the inn," interpreting this to mean the innkeeper had no eyes to see the meaning of the Nativity. But Piper takes a different tack, giving a historically plausible interpretation that Jesus' poverty-stricken parents would have been grateful for
Cyndi Beane-Henry
Dec 04, 2011 Cyndi Beane-Henry rated it it was amazing

The Innkeeper
by John Piper
Paintings by Glenn Harrington
Copyright 1998, 2011 by Desiring God Foundation
Published by Crossway, Wheaton, IL
ISBN 978-1-4335-3025-8

Piper brings a visit from the Savior to the Innkeeper of the Inn where He was born.

A touching poem of loss and grief, and how the Lord will bring a sweet reunion to those who believe with their loved ones.

Harrington's paintings are lovely! And they bring life to the story, making it even more endearing.

Not just for the Christmas season, thi
Jul 28, 2010 Vaughn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Piper wrote this Advent poem as a gift for the congregation of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

It's a fictionalized story in which Jesus, on his way to be crucified, visits the innkeeper who housed Joseph and Mary and hears his account of the Nativity. His story goes on to dramatically describe Herod's Slaughter of the Innocents (Matthew 2:16-18), in which the innkeeper lost his entire family and his right arm. He lived on in lonely grief, never understanding why God would allow su
Michael W.
An imaginative, poetic piece of a meeting between Jesus and the Innkeeper 30 years later. The short tale is told from the fictitious "what if" position. In this rendition, the Innkeeper lost not only his wife but his own young sons, his arm and his livelihood in the Herodian slaughter of the innocents. Now, 30 years later Jesus returns to Bethlehem to look for the Innkeeper. The story is touching, and dedicated to "Rollin and all who ever lost a child."
Steve Hemmeke
I re-read this short poem by John Piper, for Christmas, made into a book. It's really too short for a book.

It's a good antidote to the sentimentalism of Christmas, which cost families their babies' lives. Just a couple of brutal lines about 3/4 into the poem pack quite a punch. Jesus came into this sinful, harsh world to redeem the worst of circumstances. Mary's birth of Jesus was one of these - Christmas was no cake walk for Joseph and Mary.
Dec 27, 2015 Julian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An imaginative story of the Innkeeper and how his life took a major catastrophe because of allowing the birth of Jesus to happen in his Inn, but how later on in life (about 3o years later) Jesus came to him, seeking him and then transforming his life completely. The Innkeeper was sure glad he shielded the Savior of the World. Excellent fictional story written in poetic form.
Dec 30, 2011 Nona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
A short fiction story of what might have happened to the innkeeper and his family after housing Mary, Joseph and Jesus. We know the cost was great for the entire area, as Herod ordered the death of every male child 2 years and younger. Let us celebrate Christ’s birth and the power of His resurrection.
Dec 14, 2013 Becca rated it it was amazing
I watched the video of John Piper ( reading this account of Jesus finding the man who owned the stable in which he was born. Beautiful story of finding hope in Jesus through suffering. Loved it.
Jan 01, 2013 Wade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
An encouraging, little Christmas poem that points to the beauty of the cross in the midst of the struggle, pain and sorrow of this world.
Peter Kim
Jan 12, 2013 Peter Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
beautifully written. reminds me of what was lost and suffered in order to gain Christ
Dec 31, 2014 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Piper reads the poem here.
Pam Nelson
Aug 07, 2009 Pam Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Startling take on the Christmas story. My favorite Christmas story. I take a few minutes to reread every Christmas season.
Joan Arning
Dec 11, 2016 Joan Arning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Innkeeper is a beautifully illustrated poem of what may have happened to the innkeeper following Jesus birth. I recommend reading this poignant poem.
Jeremy Zilkie
Dec 26, 2014 Jeremy Zilkie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
Beautiful story and wonderfully imagined. Poetry was pretty good as well for a "preacher".
Joel Rockey
Dec 02, 2016 Joel Rockey rated it really liked it
In this beautiful imaginative poem John Piper illustrates what could have happened. Powerful words.
Dave Hall
Dec 23, 2014 Dave Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christmas poem about what might have happened if Jesus had gone back and met the Innkeeper who let his parents stay in the stable the night he was born.
Benjamin Carlton
An extremely moving poem that brings to life the heart of God in the face of the pain of our world.
Matt Belser
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May 25, 2015
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Dec 05, 2016
Bryan McWhite
Bryan McWhite rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2011
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Apr 13, 2016
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe
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