Matthew 1 : 1 – 17
Luke 3 : 23 - 38
I have a claim to fame in my ancestry; I have been told that I am a direct descendant of Pocahontas. You would never guess it by looking at me because I am very pale, but my family tree traces back to Pocahontas. Isn’t that very human to want to focus on the famous person in my family tree? It is much more satisfying to focus on the successful or “good” person in my lineage rather than focus on the controversial people in my family tree. We like to attribute the good things we inherited rather than the negative.
When reading Jesus’ lineage, we see that there are some “shady” characters. Some of these people do not need to be mentioned, yet God seemed to find it important enough to remind us who was in his family tree. The excerpt in Matthew is Joseph’s lineage, and the excerpt in Luke is Mary’s. Looking in Matthew, the first person that catches my eye is Jacob. He deceived his brother and father to receive a birthright and blessing that was not his. The next person to catch my eye is Tamar (her story is found in Genesis 38). What about Rehab, the prostitute from Jericho who assisted the spies? Ruth was a Moabite. David was a murderer and an adulterer. Solomon didn’t follow God’s commands. The list goes on!
I guess it reminds me that God uses us even in our weaknesses. Our past or family tree doesn’t matter to God. God knows our hearts and that is what is important. In fact, doesn’t it show how much He desires to have a relationship that He would use such a flawed lineage to bring our Savior? It almost seems like it was one more way to emphasize how our human state and how perfect we can live doesn’t make a difference in the plan that God had for us through Jesus. It is such an amazing thought that He loves us so much that He is willing to do whatever it takes for us to realize it!
Have you taken time to think of how great God’s love is for you?