Devotional text: Matthew1:1-6; Matthew 1:16-25
I know it’s difficult to read genealogies without having your eyes glaze over, but concentrate on these names. Do you notice anything strange?
Why are these mothers mentioned: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and “the wife of Uriah”? Look at the rest of the genealogy. There are no other mothers mentioned, at least until Mary in verse 16. Why these women?
To say the least, they have interesting backstories. Tamar committed incest with her father-in-law, Judah. Rahab was a prostitute and a Gentile, an outsider to God’s people Israel. Ruth was a Gentile from a nation considered an enemy of Israel. And the wife of Uriah happens to be Bathsheba, the woman with whom King David had an adulterous affair, and whose husband, Uriah, David arranged to kill in order to protect their secret. For that matter, by calling Bathsheba the “wife of Uriah,” Matthew is reminding us of David’s great sin.
What is God up to in his Word?
Among other things, God wants to remind us that all these sinners, outsiders, and former enemies belong in the same family with God’s Son Jesus. Because of what Christ did for us through his death and resurrection, we are now—as Jesus tells Mary Magdalene in John 20—his brothers and sisters. His Father is now our Father.
If there’s room for sinners, outsiders, and former enemies in Jesus’ family tree, there’s surely room for someone like me—and you!