After spending six months in the book of Genesis, I thought it would be good to spend time in the book of Matthew. We read all about our history and beginnings in the book of Genesis, and now I would like to look at God's response to our behavior by reading through the book of Matthew. Reading through the Gospels is important because they map out the way God would like us to live. We get to read through the words of Christ and examine what He felt was important. Basically, while reading through the Gospels, we learn about the heart of God. A friend of mine reads a portion of the Gospels each day, no matter what they are studying in the Bible. They feel it is very important to read about Christ every day. So, let's start a new journey through the book of Matthew to see what God wants to tells us about Himself. Please read Matthew 1:1-17.
Perhaps reading through a genealogy list was an anticlimactic way to start a new journey; however, I want you to consider some things as we look through this genealogy. First of all, after reading through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we know that they were not perfect but their faith was amazing! We see that even with mistakes and human behavior, they believed and trusted God and He honored that by building His people on their descendants. As one reader pointed out last week, God chose to continue the line of Judah from Tamar, who was his daughter-in-law who had been set aside and forgotten by Judah. Don't forget, Judah was the one who suggested that they sell Joseph to the Ishmaelite traders so they could at least have a gain in the process.
We see Rehab mentioned in this genealogy (one of only a few mothers mentioned). Rehab was the prostitute in Jericho who showed her faith in God by hiding the Israelite spies. Boaz is in this same line who is the man who showed great compassion on Ruth (who is also mentioned in this list), Naomi's Moabite daughter-in-law. We also see King David and his family line as kings over Israel, some of whom were faithful to God and others were considered evil.
What I am showing you is the fact that God chose to have His son to come from a line of humans that were far from perfect. They were people just like you and me who had human struggles. Some of the people in this line were considered evil in the eyes of God and even participated in human sacrifice. But God chose to use two people who honored Him to raise His son - Joseph and Mary. While our culture doesn't place the great significance on family line like the Jewish culture does, there is still some importance we place on it. In fact just this morning I was watching how Joe Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's grandson, is running for Congress in the state of Massachusetts. Some people believe that he won the primary based on his own record, while others believe he is riding on the coat-tails of his family.
But God wasn't concerned that Manasseh, the king who sacrificed his children to other gods, was an ancestor of Jesus; He was looking at promises He had made and how Joseph and Mary honored Him. Maybe you come from a family that is well-known in your community or church, or maybe you come from a family that has some dishonor. Do you believe that that God bases how He uses you on how well known your family is? I don't! In fact, we are told that when we are in Christ, we have a new family legacy - a spiritual legacy. When we believe in God's grace extended to us through Jesus, we become a part of the family of God (John 1:11-13). So, be encouraged because you have a greater legacy than any legacy or family line here on earth! God wants to use you for His kingdom, and don't let anyone tell you anything different. Believe and trust God.
Do you trust in your human family line, or do you believe that you are part of a family line that is far greater?
This post is linked with Monday Musings and Sharing His Beauty.