The Genealogy of Matthew

mom-child-300I had written a post to put in my church newsletter, I always post them here also, but I Lost the USB drive I had it saved on. Well I finally found it. So here is the post that was supposed to appear on Mother’s Day.

The Genealogy of Jesus
Matthew 1:1-16
The Bible is full of Genealogies, Those lists of names that seem to go on forever and appear to serve no purpose but to lull us to sleep. It is amazing how many times I have asked someone have you ever read the Bible and they tell me, “I tried but it got to where everyone was begating somebody and I just couldn‟t read it.”
These genealogies are pretty amazing when we slow down and read them though. God stuck little nuggets in there to see if we were still paying attention. Like the story of a cursed man who simply prayed that God would bless him and God did exactly that (1 Chronicles 4:10) or little tidbits of information such as when the Earth was divided (1 Chronicles 1:19).
Matthews‟s genealogy of Jesus is like that. If we slow down and read it we will notice that in this list of 39 fathers four mothers are mentioned. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba were important to God. He wanted us to see these four mothers that led to Christ. So what makes these four mothers so important?
Tamar prostituted herself to have an incestuous relationship, Rahab was a prostitute herself, Ruth was a pagan, and Bathsheba strolled around nude and had an affair that led to the death of her husband. In some churches these ladies wouldn‟t even be allowed in the door. Yet Matthew, through the divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost, wanted us to see that not only where these ladies allowed in the door, they were seated at the right hand of God. They were placed on a pedestal to be admired. Rahab even made it into the Hebrews Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:31).
So why is that? First I think we should realize that no matter what we have done in our past God can use us. Just as these ladies lead to Christ, we also can leave our past behind and lead people to Christ. Each of these women, with the exception of Ruth, when we hear their names the bad they did immediately comes to mind. Yet, let‟s look the type of children they raised.
After Genesis 38 it seems Tamar simply disappears until Matthew chooses to bring her up again. But that isn‟t true. Not only is she mentioned, she is in some mighty fine company. In Ruth 4:11-12 the elders of Bethlehem are giving the marriage of Boaz to Ruth their blessing and they say to him, “May your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” Sounds like the elders felt Tamar did a good job raising her boys.
Rahab not only gets mentioned in Hebrews but James also mentioned her in James 2:25. After Jericho was destroyed she was accepted and lived among the Jews. She met a man named Salmon whose father was the leader of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:10). They were married and raised a son together. Again we can see that Rahab made a fine mother and raised a fine gentleman of a son by the name of Boaz.
Ruth, as we see by God allowing her to be the only Gentile with a book of the Bible named after her, was a woman after God‟s own heart. While not a lot is said about her children in the bible, the book of Ruth says tons about her character. Ruth gave up what she thought would be her only chance to marry (Ruth 1:11-13) after becoming a widow so that she could take care of her mother-in-law. (Ruth 1:16-17). She went to a completely different culture to serve God and be faithful to Him and His Laws.
Last but not least we have Bathsheba, who so easily betrayed her marriage bed and allowed the death of her husband. But look at the son she raised. Solomon became the wisest and richest man alive. Yes, God granted this to Solomon but it was because Solomon only asked for a discerning heart so that he could rule God‟s people justly. God told Solomon, “I‟ll give you whatever you want.” Solomon could have asked for anything. Yet all he wanted was to be able to discern between good and evil.
Moms, you are important. God entrusts you with the care, keeping, and teaching of „His children‟. Be diligent in raising them in Christ‟s love.
MSW
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