Saturday, December 3, 2011


When you read the geneology of Jesus in Matthew 1 below, notice the names in purple...

 1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] 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 (Bathsheba),
 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[c] 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.

The names in purple are of women!  They break in unexpectedly and have unorthodox and unplanned significance. It is worth a few moments of your time to read the stories of Tamar, Rahab (x 2), Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary.

As you read, you may come to realize that the genealogy you might expect for someone as important as the Messiah has been “tainted” — by women! Women who were outside acceptable norms for the time. All but one (Mary) is from another land. Their marital status is certainly questionable. Their stories are filled with pain and suffering resulting in the births of sons. They represent the common experience of all women in some way... for how many of us have suffered what they suffered.

This genealogy implicitly reminds us that from the very beginning of God’s interaction with us, women have been a very important part of His plan. Their place is not as celebrated, not as obvious, and not recorded as much as God’s interaction with men. But that's not God’s fault. It is due to the domination of women by men.The importance of women in God’s plan continues to be illustrated throughout Jesus’ life. Women testified to the reality of Jesus in unique ways in the Gospels and experienced His healing ministry in very special ways: Elizabeth; the woman with the hemorrhage; the woman who anoints Jesus’ head; the Canaanite woman; the Samaritan woman; the daughter of Jairus; Mary Magdalene.

Jesus’ genealogy makes it clear that there is Someone who sees the bigger picture. We can know that this relentless pattern can be and is shattered when we allow God’s promise to be fulfilled in our lives — the promise that the consequences of sin have been overcome in Jesus. This is the promise that Mary fulfilled by allowing God to shatter everyone’s expectation for her and for her Son. Jesus' ancestors tell us that God is breaking the expectation that we women have become used to — the consequences of sin — and God is restoring our original dignity. His promise is the final word, if we but live it out.

No comments: