“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:” Matthew 1:1
Ok, I decided not to write out the entire genealogy that Matthew recites in the beginning part of his first chapter. (That might have been the entire post!) This is one of the parts of the Bible we tend to skip through, too many “begots”. However, in Jewish history, genealogy was very important; what tribe you were descended from could entitle you to land. Genealogy also determined whether you could serve in the temple. So impeccable records were kept.
But if we really look at Matthew’s listing and some of the people specifically included, we see that some may have been used by God as perhaps a message for all of us. Jesus came for all people and no one is so removed from God’s grace that they can’t be saved through faith. And that they can’t reflect God’s grace and glorify Him.
“Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,” Matthew 1:5
Usually genealogies trace father’s lines, if you look at Luke’s genealogy there are only father’s and sons (although it is interesting that Luke goes back to Adam!) Rahab “the harlot” was the Canaanite resident of Jericho who recognized that the God of Israel was powerful and helped the two Joshua-sent spies. (Joshua 2) Ruth, of course, is the Moabitess who told her mother-in-law, Naomi, “Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God” from the book of Ruth.
“and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.” Matthew 1:6
We are all familiar with this story of adultery and murder in II Samuel 11. David and Bathsheba.
We know the Bible is God “breathed”. What are we supposed to discern from these inclusions in Jesus’ family tree? This. That no matter how far from God you think you may be, no matter how undeserving of His grace you feel you are, no matter what past history or future you might have, you are not too far away for God’s grace to reach out to you! God chose to use a prostitute and a woman who was an outsider in Jesus’ genealogy to let us know that we are all precious and loved and desired by God.
Jesus, the Word who became flesh, came for all people, Jew and Gentile, the sinner and the lost, the seeking and the hiding, He came for us all.
This week as we prepare for the Christmas holidays, let one of our activities be to accept God’s all-encompassing grace, to thank Him for the gift of His Son, Jesus, and to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior.
I thank God for each of you. And I thank you for joining me this week as we prepare for the Christmas season and to understand that Jesus, the Word, came down to earth as a baby to save us all.