Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ." Matthew 1:1-17
As I mentioned yesterday, we tend to skip over the Geneology when we read Matthew. But as legendary Coach Lee Corso says, "Not so fast my friends."
This imformation is very revealing when you take the time to study it. You might find it interesting to consider that there are five women listed in the list of anscestors which is unusual in itself, but even more incredible when you consider that these woman were not exactly the sort that you would bring home to meet your mother.
So, am I saying there were a few bad apples on the family tree of Jesus? Thanks for paying attention - that is exactly what I am saying!
With some help from lifeofChrist.com, see for yourself:
Women in Christ's Genealogy Matthew included five women in his genealogy of Christ. This is notable since it was not customary for Jews to include women in their records. Even more remarkable is the fact that Matthew included some women who had disreputable histories. The five women included were: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.
Tamar: Genesis 38:6-30 Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was a childless widow, who was given to her brother-in-law after her husband's death. By this marriage, her offspring would continue the name and inheritance of the deceased. Such a union was later called a Leverite marriage (Deut 25:5-6). Unfortunately, Tamar's brother-in-law refused to have proper intercourse with her. God killed him for this. Afterwards, Judah would not give Tamar to any of his other sons. So Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and seduced Judah. Through him, she became the mother of Perez.
Rahab: Joshua 2:1-24 Rahab was a harlot who lived in Jericho. She hid the spies of Joshua. Because of this, the Israelites spared her life when they conquered Jericho. She later became the wife of Salmon, and the mother of Boaz. Rahab's faith was later commended (Heb 11:30-31).
Ruth: Ruth 1:1-4:22 Ruth was a foreigner from the land of Moab. She was the widow of a Jew. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, also lived in Moab. Naomi journeyed to Israel after her family died. Ruth's devotion was extraordinary. She left her own country to follow Naomi. While in Israel, Ruth was married to Boaz, one of Naomi's relatives. Ruth later became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David the King.
Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11:1-27 Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, who was a soldier in the army of King David. She and David had an adulterous affair. When David discovered Bathsheba was pregnant, he tried to cover it up by summoning Uriah home from war, hoping that Uriah would have intercourse with his wife. Uriah came home to Jerusalem, but refused to lay with Bathsheba as long as the armies of Israel were at war. So, David sent Uriah back into battle, with orders that Uriah should be withdrawn from when the fighting became fierce. After Uriah was slain in this manner, David took Bathsheba as his own wife. God punished them for this by killing their first child. Bathsheba later became the mother of Solomon.
Mary: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-56 Mary was the mother of Jesus and the wife of Joseph. She was a virgin when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was betrothed to Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. He intended to put her away secretly because this was shameful. However, an angel told Joseph what had happened. So Joseph took Mary as his wife, and kept her as a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus. During her pregnancy, Mary spent time with her relative Elizabeth, who was the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:39-56). Mary was not a perpetual virgin, as she later became the mother of other sons and daughters (Matthew 13:55-56). Mary was a widow at the time of Jesus' death. While on the cross, Jesus committed her to the care of John, his apostle (John 19:25-27).
Why would God do this? Why would He include women against all normal custom? And why would He list THESE women who had less than sterling reputations?
One reason I touched on yesterday, Jesus came from ordinary people, by ordinary people to save ordinary people!
Also, the angel told Joseph to name the baby "JESUS", because He would save His people from their sins. If you want to emphasize that salvation that Jesus came to provide, why not do that by including some infamous sinners in the list?
Christmas IS "Good news of great joy" for all people! People of noble birth, people of low birth, virtuous people, treacherous people - Jesus came to redeem them all! He came from them and He came for them!
Think you are too bad for Jesus to save? I just showed you five reasons why you are wrong!