Why was Jesus put in a manger after his birth?

Luke 2:7 says, "And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."

A national census brought huge numbers of people to Bethlehem, making space unavailable in this room and likely every other room in the small town. Though tradition holds this is a hotel like inn, the Greek word  here is kataluma, which could also be translated as “guest room.” It was common for households in this time to have stories, with the lowest floor a bit like a garage, more open to shelter animals when they bedded down for the night. It's likely that rather than a separate barn or shed, Joseph and Mary were offered this rough accommodation in the lowest level, while visitors filled the higher levels of the household.

Despite the songs and common saying, he wasn't born in a manger. Mary delivered Him, during the night and in the middle of the rude animal shelter. She wrapped Him in cloths and, exhausted, laid Him down in the most suitable place available, a manger - an animal's food trough.

Imagine a king laying a new born princess to sleep in a dusty garage. Or a European president traveling to the slums of Kolkata to give birth. Why would God choose this family? Why would He allow His son to be born in this incredibly undignified situation?

He did so to show us the Gospel, the good news about Jesus: When God was unreachable, He came to us defenseless, humble, as one of us. When we were unable to bridge the gap of our faults and mistakes, He made a way back with His own sacrifice. This is a picture of radical love, acceptance, and invitation to you.