We’ve started a new year of BSF…and the study is on the Book of Matthew this year. I’ve done this study before so it’ll be cool to see what I remember from eight years ago, as well as what has changed in my growth since then. We started with a look at Jesus’ genealogy…which is pretty amazing in itself:
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah 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,
….[skipping some names]….
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,
….[skipping some names]….
Matthan the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,
and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Notice anything unusual about the genealogy? Hint: I’ve bolded and changed the color of the text. When was the last time a historical genealogy in a patriarchal society include WOMEN in it? And of the five women, only Mary was Jewish. And only Mary didn’t have a colorful history worthy of modern-day tabloids.
Tamar (Click on her name for the Biblical account) – The father of her child is also her father-in-law. She was a Canaanite woman who used the means she knew how (i.e. dressing as a prostitute with whom Judah, her FIL, had drunken relations with) in order to be part of the family that received a great promise from God.
Rahab – A local prostitute in the city of Jericho. She helped the Hebrew spies escape the city on promise that she and her family would be spared because she believed in their God.
Ruth – A Moabite, basically an enemy of the Hebrews, widow who chose to leave everything she knew behind her in order to follow her Hebrew mother-in-law back to her country. She desired that Naomi’s God also be her God and gave up her best chance at remarriage and having her own family.
Uriah’s wife aka Bathsheba – The mighty King David spied her bathing one night, sent for her, and knocked her up. And then when he couldn’t cover his tracks, he had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle, and then he married her.
Mary – Unwed, virgin, teenager…who becomes pregnant by the Holy Spirit. How do you tell that to your Dad? Or to your fiance??
And these were the women so honored to be recorded in Jesus’ genealogy. Pretty incredible. Some of them literally could have been killed for what they did…but they had faith in the God they heard about. And they wanted to belong to Him. Do I have that kind of faith? I can only hope. But certainly knowing these women and their colorful stories are included in Jesus’ family line gives me, and hopefully all, hope that it really doesn’t matter your past…and it certainly doesn’t matter what your “pedigree” is. If you seek to be included into God’s family, you will be.
I also totally recommend reading “A Lineage of Grace” by Francine Rivers which paints a picture of how their stories might have taken place as informed by the Bible.