Like the branches
on a tree,
we all grow
in different directions,
but our roots
remain as one.
No wonder we refer to a list of our lineage as a “family tree.” We are unique, but connected—with distinguishable looks or traits that makes it impossible to deny our connection. There is something that ties you to the tree—also true of the family of believers.
Traditional geneaologies of the first century only included fathers and sons, and this is true of Jesus’ lineage as is listed in Luke. Matthew’s list is unique as he identifies five significant mothers as well. You might expect these women to be notable or saintly, but at a quick glance, they are not the women we would want to find in our lineage!
Five women: Tamar | Rahab | Ruth | Bathsheba | Mary
What did they have in common?
Prostitution, betrayal, sordid backgrounds, unacceptable as marriage prospects, tainted sexual reputations… Why step outside of tradtion to bring these ladies to our attention— these women whose very names call to mind scandalous things?
Perhaps before Matthew even began the story of Jesus’ birth, he wanted to remind us of why Jesus came to earth.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
“Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” Acts 10:15 (NLT)
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NLT)
Most of us work to conceal disgraceful people and events from our lives—we keep them off of our social media! But not Jesus. He embraces us all and has a plan in place for each and every one of us. The story of these five women is also our story,
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NLT)
photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
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