Beginning In the book of Matthew, I’m going to write some quick impressions as to how the Bible truly does relate to us today. They may not be new insights, but, I believe God wants us to know that His word is living and meaningful in both past, future, and present senses. He wants you to know that He is alive now, and has a plan and purpose for you, and each one of us!
Today, I read in the first chapter of Matthew the genealogy of Christ. Although we’ve heard it before, it impacts me again that several women are deliberately listed, in a typically male sequence.
Each of those women have something dark in their past that should have excluded them (even indicted them in some cases) from such an illustrious family tree.
Tamar, for example, birthed twins, Perez and Zerah, conceived out of incest – with her own father-in-law! Perez was in the lineage of Jesus.
Rahab, a prostitute from Jericho, a wicked city destroyed at God’s command, became the mother of Boaz, King David’s grandfather. Did we mention she was a hooker? Again, not the blue-blood parentage we expected.
Boaz married Ruth, a woman from the tribe of Moab. The Moabite nation was known as extremely sinful, even murdering their own children. God had ordered the Israelites to avoid and destroy them.
Bathsheba, the next in the line-up, was lawfully married to Uriah, a brave soldier in King David’s army. David saw her bathing one evening, lusted after her, went to bed with her, while her husband was away at war, then had Uriah treacherously killed when he found out he’d gotten Bathsheba pregnant. (For the record, God was decidedly NOT pleased) Next, he married her, and their second child, Solomon, became an ancestor of Jesus. According to Old Testament ways, David’s children from this marriage would have been cursed for many generations.
Further down the list, we see Mary, the mother of Jesus, found to be pregnant before she had married Joseph?? THAT was a no-no… Although we know the rest of the story, nevertheless, it wasn’t the speckless story we might have preferred.
Why would God include these women in the ancestry? They make Jesus look bad, don’t they? Or, is it possible that God wanted to strikingly illustrate the passing of the Old Covenant – the law of sin and death – to the New Covenant of grace, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8: 1-3)
What the law could not accomplish was a life for us that provides redemption. Redemption states that for those who set their minds away from sin, and towards the things of the Holy Spirit, there is forgiveness and abundant life, in, and because of Christ Jesus.
No condemnation, to those who give up the old life of sin and death, as illustrated by baptism, and show we are now born anew into the resurrected life of Jesus. This is something the law could never offer!
I believe this is why we see such an ancestry in Matthew. It shows that anyone can be forgiven, and used mightily by God, if we truly want His ways.
And that message comes with a LOT of hope!!