Be honest. When you are reading the Bible, and you get to the genealogies, what do you do?
I used to skip over them. Like the one that starts in the book of Matthew. I would do this for several reasons: 1) I could not pronounce half of the names that were listed, 2) I did not know or recognize a lot of the names, and 3) I did not think they were of any use to me. I did not think I needed to know the genealogy of Jesus. I just wanted Jesus.
Matthew started his text with the genealogy of Jesus because that was how he got his audience’s attention. He wrote this text to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and is the promised Eternal King. He wrote this originally for the Jews. The Jews found family lines to be of importance because they proved one’s standing as one of God’s chosen people. So, it does make sense that he would list Jesus’ genealogy in the beginning. But if you have read through the genealogy, you will have noticed something…
All of Jesus’ ancestors varied in personality, spiritual maturity, and experience.
You will see the names of popular faithful people from the Old Testament like Abraham, Isaac, and David. You will see the names of those who were foreigners of Israel or had bad reputations such as Tamar, Rehab, and Ruth. You will even see the names of those who were considered evil like Abijah and Manasseh.
Abraham is one of the great fathers of the nation of Israel. He is a great example of human faith in the will of God. Isaac is the second greatest father of the nation of Israel. He let God guide his life and placed God’s will ahead of his own. David is considered one of the greatest men in the Old Testament. His name occurs more than 1,000 times throughout the Bible. He is described by God as a man after his own heart. It would make sense that Jesus descended from these three men. But then you read the names of those who were foreigners and had bad reputations in the genealogy as well.
Rahab was a prostitute and a foreigner. But she helped Joshua’s spies flee Jericho, and even expressed faith in God. Tamar acted like a prostitute and scammed her father-in-law Judah. But she was stated as being more righteous than Judah. Ruth was a foreigner. She was a foreigner from Israel’s enemy tribe, Moab. Yet she faithfully took care of her widowed mother-in-law, was praised for being better than 7 sons, and expressed faith in God. Though these three individuals had a rough beginning with their walk with God, it doesn’t compare to being perceived as evil.
Abijah is the grandson of Solomon. He ruled over Judah as a king for three years. In this time frame, he was first described through condemnation. It was stated that he walked in all the sins which his father, Rehoboam, did before him. Yet as time went on, however, Abijah was described as a forceful defender of the Lord. Manasseh was the king of Judah a couple of 100 years after Abijah. However, it was stated that he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He followed other gods, sacrificed his children, and practiced soothsaying, augury, and sorcery. But Manasseh eventually repented of his evil ways.
The genealogy of Jesus is full of those who are good, bad, and ugly. Jesus is related to these people. And if there is one thing I love to take away from reading his genealogy, it is this:
You can be related to Jesus too!
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” Jesus asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”Mark 3:33-34
I do not care who you are, where you are from, or what you have done. I do not care if you committed adultery, lied about things, or committed a crime. I do not care if you are addicted to porn, alcohol, or drugs. Maybe you have hurt someone? Stole from someone? Lusted over someone? I do not care if you feel disgusting, worthless, impure, or wrong. It does not matter what it is holding you back from God or accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. HE WON’T TURN YOU AWAY! He didn’t Abraham, Rehab, or Manasseh. He will not turn you away either. You just have to turn to him.
Maybe you have turned to Jesus. Maybe you are a faithful follower of his, but you are backsliding. You did this one thing, said this one thing, thought this one thing, gone back to this one thing. Maybe you think that God is tired of accepting your apologies? But remember David? The man after God’s own heart? He committed adultery. He murdered a man and took his wife as his own. This is after being a faithful follower. But he repented. God forgave. He will forgive you too. He sent his son for you, for me. He sent the one who is the Savior of all.
Go to him. Return to him. Become his brother, his sister. Become related to the Savior. He is not picky. He wants you. He loves you. Have a nice weekend, and God bless!