Thursday, June 26, 2008

Matthew 1:1-17 "God of Our Fathers"

Read Matthew 1:1-17.

"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:" NIV

Genealogy was hugely important to the people of this time. It established who they were in the world and would influence what roles they played. Unfortunately, in the United States, we have not kept up such a record of our lineage. Most of us seem to just begin 200 years ago with the birth of America. There has been a resurgence in the last few years with the internet to try to find family lines, but I would venture to say that most people really don't know where they come from.

A few years ago, my dad's distant cousin contacted him with our family geneology. She had tracked it back to the the first duke of Norfolk in England, John Howard I. We can even go further back to King Edward I by his second wife. (Not the royal bloodline. Rats.) But he was a really bad man so we'd rather stop with the duke. :-) Which brings me to my point, we all have....hmmmm....let's call them glitches in our bloodline. After all we are dealing with human beings that are fallible and not everything is going to come out pretty and neat. You may not even be able to go back one generation without cringing. But here's the cool part. Jesus didn't even have a perfect lineage. Oh, he can look back to the greats like Abraham and Isaac (who by the way all messed up at one time or another.) But there were really rough spots in Jesus' line, too. Look back at the passage.

In verse 3, it says that Perez is the son of Judah and then it uncharacteristically notes Perez's mother, Tamar. (Genesis 38:1-30) Why is that? Tamar was the widowed daughter-in-law of Judah who thought she was a prostitute. Think about that one for a minute. Or don't.

Another glitch is in verse 6. David (Yes, our beloved King David) "was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife." (2 Samuel 11:1-27) If you'll recall, David had Uriah sent to the front lines of battle so he'd be killed after David had slept with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.

So what is my point in dredging all this up? None of us have a perfect bloodline. Even Jesus didn't. For that matter, none of us are perfect, period. But if I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I am now a child of the King and a co-heir with Jesus Christ. I don't have to live under an umbrella of inherited sin and shame, I am a new line with a Father that is the Almighty Creator of the Universe. I live in a hope of the riches of heaven. I am not bound to my former sin or the sins of my ancestors, I am a new creation -- saved, sanctified, and bound for heaven. I can hold my head up and walk in boldness because my daddy is the King!

Thank You, Lord, for the parents and grandparents I have had. I've been blessed beyond what I deserve. But mostly, I thank you for the privilege of being Your child. Help me to continue to live with dignity and integrity. I want to live a life pleasing to You.

Further Thoughts:

  1. What covenant did God make with Abraham? (Read Genesis 17:3-7)
  2. How is it that we have become descendants of Abraham? (See Galatians 3:26-4:7)
  3. Do you have trouble trusting the heavenly Father because you have been disappointed in your earthly fathers? Know that He is trustworthy. Read Psalm 139, 115, and 116, Isaiah 49:15-16.
  4. Read this beautiful old hymn that celebrates who we are and Whom we serve.

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