Matthew 1:1-17 (NKJV)
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: …17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
Now if you take the time to read this passage in your Bible you cannot help but notice “all the generations” turns out to be a pretty sorted cast. Matthew’s point here is Jesus’ lineage from Abraham through King David and so on. But the details reveal something even more valuable. I recall once a comedian’s skit about a mother who tried to make a cake for her son, and the humorous back and forth as the young boy repeatedly challenged his mother about how deformed, lop sided, and pathetic the cake turned out. The boy finally commenting … “that don’t look like what’s on the box.”
The verses then 2 through 16 include: Jacob, who stole the birthright from his brother; Joram, Ahaz and Jeconiah which history records as some of the most wicked and terrible rulers of Israel. Four women are included; Bathsheba who with David committed adultery; Ruth the Moabite, a family tree wrought through incest into this lineage; Rahab was a prostitute; and Tamar lied and pretended to be a prostitute to trick her way into the family.
But the prophets have always told us God’s ways are not our ways. In fact what we need to realize then about this scripture is God by His Holy Spirit has intentionally managed this lineage, good and bad, to protect and fulfill His promise to humanity. This Gift, this promise of Christ the Messiah, would have appeared hopeless by any natural account during the process. And so it is sometimes with our hopes for God’s promises. Perhaps we may have come from a sorted lineage as well. We may reason we have not done the right things or followed the right path. Maybe things just don’t look right? But God works through each of our paths and our circumstance especially for the purpose of expressing His Grace. His Grace, just like this passage in scripture has begotten you now in Christ with your family tree changed forever. And now where ever you may see yourself in circumstance, maybe in need of God promises or miracle, we must know from God’s example in Christ and scripture and not lose hope.
The Grace conveyed to you through baptism and your continence of faith is alive and working in you. In this Christmas season of gifts and fulfilled promises we pray you receive a renewed hope and vitality of faith. Believe in the miracle of Jesus, born of the Spirit. Ask God to open up to you the fullness of this gift and promise where ever you are. And don’t fear if for now “this don’t look like what’s on the box”. Believe, as together we walk by faith and not by sight and receive the sure Word of God in Grace and promise.