3rd Week of Advent
Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17;Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:1)
Researching your family tree has become quite popular these past few years. Just think of the websites that have sprouted up offering to help us discover our ancestors. But did you know that this interest in family history was a strong current in ancient Israel as well? That’s part of the reason why the Bible is filled with lists of parents begetting children and children begetting grandchildren and so on.
These genealogies can seem tedious to us, but each of them tells its own story of God’s power and grace—and none does this more powerfully than the genealogy of Jesus himself! Here in just a few verses, we see the sinfulness of humanity and the redemption of God over and over again.
We see the patriarch Judah, whose hypocrisy brought shame on his family (Genesis 38:1-30). We see the prostitute Rahab, whose courage and newfound faith in God saved Israelite spies (Joshua 2:1-24). We see Ruth, a Moabite who had grown up surrounded by pagan Gods. Pledging faithfulness to the God of Abraham, she left her family and old religion to travel to Judah with her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:1-22). We see King David, who was guilty of adultery and murder and yet whose repentance remains a model for us today (2 Samuel 11; Psalm 51). Finally, through all these twists and turns, we see Jesus, the holy and righteous Messiah.
Don’t you find it amazing that God would give his Son a family tree that was imperfect? But that’s the beauty of the way he works. As Jesus’ genealogy shows, he is able to perform miracles through any person and in any situation. He takes what is imperfect, fallen, and marred by sin and uses it to bring about his salvation.
So the next time you find yourself worrying about your own family tree—whether it be your parents or your children or grandchildren—remember Jesus and his ancestors. Take heart, and know that God is not done writing your history. Keep on praying. Keep on sharing your faith. And never lose heart!
“Father, I am amazed that you have called me into your family. I trust that you have a gracious plan for my life and my family, even if I can’t see it right now. Lord, I trust in you!”~WAU