Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Matthew 1:1-17, Sinners Saved By Grace

I hope you were able to pick out how each of these women expressed their faith, wanting to participate in God’s promises. Some acted unwisely, but even through their error, God blessed each of these women.

1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Tamar - despite how awful her first two husbands were, she was willing to do whatever it took to be linked with God and His people

Rahab - had such a reverence for God, and awe of His power, that she believed completely in His victory. She wanted to be saved along with His people

Ruth - has a beautiful story of sacrificial love and redemption, well worth the reading

Bathsheba - the Bible isn’t clear about her faith, but of all the sons of David it seems only one reverenced God and desired God’s wisdom – her son Solomon

Mary - in spite of the enormous hurdles and heartaches God’s will in her life would bring, she saw herself as God’s handmaiden, and willingly submitted to His command.

Though Matthew named some godly men, the patriarchs and good kings, many of the men in this list were not what we would call good men. They sinned, they were selfish, even cruel, wicked, rebellious against God, idolaters. But through them Messiah was born.

I wonder if Matthew, ex-tax collector and publican that he was, identified with these women and men at some level. Through this record God is displaying His grace to sinners. Even in this genealogy Matthew was already giving us a clue that there is something unique and earth shaking about Jesus. Expect the unexpected. Carried along in the Spirit, the apostle Matthew was showing how God in Christ was taking down the barriers of sin and its curse.

[Tomorrow: God Uses Unlikely People]

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