Have you ever heard of Matthew? Like Matthew, Mark & Luke? Saint Matthew? He wrote an account of Jesus’ life. And the way he started this account was with a genealogy. Yeah, those lists of families that bore people away from the Bible. Well, this genealogy is worth reading. Usually genealogies are a list of men. This list includes 4 women. Four women that were…well, questionable. One was a prostitute, one slept with her father-in-law, one was an enemy of the Jews and the other was an adulterous woman. And these women brought Jesus’ line into the world. See for yourself…
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…
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.
Isn’t that weird? At church, we’ve already started a big Christmas series. Our pastor is going to talk about these unexpected women over the next few weeks. (Hello Racy for Christmas!) This week he talked about WHY Matthew would have included these women in the first place. What’s the point? Wouldn’t it kind of put a damper on Jesus’ holiness to be associated with these women?
Well, that was kind of the point. Matthew was a bad dude himself. He was a traitor to the Jews by being a tax collector. And when he decided to follow Jesus they were having a party at Matthew’s house. And who came to the party? “Sinners” and other tax collectors. The Jewish leaders were so out of sorts they said, “Why is Jesus hanging out with this scum?”
And Jesus rocks it by saying, “It’s not the healthy that need a doctor.”. Yeah, those people were sick with sin. But what was Jesus doing? Making them be like the religious leaders? Demanding perfection? Nope. He was having a party. He was hanging with them. Loving them. Honoring them.
This holiday season I’m thankful for the fact that Jesus gives mercy and doesn’t demand my sacrifice. He was my sacrifice when He died on the cross for me. It’s not about what I CAN DO for Him. It’s about what HE DID FOR ME.
Matthew, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and I are sinners included in Jesus family because of His mercy and love. Not because of something we did or gave up. Thank you, Jesus for loving me! For counting me worthy of your sacrifice!
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8