READ: Matthew 1:1-17
- The big names in the genealogy are no surprise. You would expect to see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in Biblical genealogies, the presence of females is extraordinary. Under most circumstances, women could not be heirs, therefore would not be listed in the lineage. But beyond that, these women all share some things in common.
- Four women (Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba [Uriah’s wife], Ruth) were foreigners, non-Jews. They were outsiders. Yet here they are in the lineage of the Messiah. Only the fifth woman, Mary, is Jewish. From the beginning, Matthew clearly indicates that the mission of Jesus was to bring salvation to all nations. All five women share something else in common; there are questions about their moral character.
- Tamar acted as a prostitute (Genesis 38), Rahab was a prostitute (Joshua 2), Bathsheba was involved in adultery (2 Samuel 11), Ruth (Ruth 3) was forward in her approach to Boaz (the only one not accused of sin), and Mary was pregnant before she was married. Yet, here they are in the lineage of Jesus. From the beginning, Matthew makes it clear that the gospel is for everyone, regardless of their moral condition or reputation. Matthew does not want his readers to miss the point…Jesus came to save the whole world, not just His Jewish family.
- How do you explain Matthew’s inclusion of these women?
- Why is it important for there to be outsiders (sinners) in Jesus’ lineage?
- If God includes these people, who can be excluded?
PRAY: Thank God that He welcomes anyone into the Kingdom. Pray that we, as a church, may show that same grace. Pray that you are welcoming to outsiders.