Written into God's Story

Written on 04/15/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 1:17

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.

OK, so as Bible verses go, reading a genealogy isn't the most exciting thing. I get that. This morning I'd like to just point out one thing I find really interesting and also encouraging for us. My favorite part of the list of people in the legal line of Jesus is the mention of four women. This is not something you would normally do in creating a genealogy. But Matthew thought it was important to include Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and "her who had been the wife of Uriah."

First of all, the inclusion of women is a pretty counter cultural thing to do. This alone doesn't tell us much, but coupled with how Jesus treated women, how he included them in his ministry, how he allowed them to learn from him, and how they were the first witnesses of the resurrection—we see women being lifted up, valued, and esteemed in a culture that had forgotten that  "in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Both male and female are created in them image of God, and both are given the mandate in Genesis to "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." In their inclusion in the genealogy, we may be getting a glimpse at how Jesus was elevating women back to their intended state.

Second, these four women had interesting pasts. Tamar sold herself as a prostitute, Ruth was a Gentile, Rahab was a Gentile prostitute, and the wife of Uriah was Bathsheba, who committed adultery with David. The inclusion of these women in the genealogy shows Jesus identifying with sinners, just as he did in his life, death, and resurrection. No one is too far gone to be included in God's story. With faith and repentance, God can use anyone.

And that is one encouragement I think we can take from the beginning of Matthew. As we launch into our devotion team writing through the book of Matthew together, we can start with a common thread that Jesus will work with anyone. If you are feeling particularly distant, or disconnected, or sinful, or frustrated, or doubtful...don't give up! That is exactly the kind of person Jesus has been writing into his story since the very beginning. God loves you and wants to work in and through your life. No matter what you are going through right now. I read this morning 2 Corinthians 12:9—"“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

He can and will work in your weakness. In your insecurity. In your doubt. Don't give up!! God wants to write you into his story too, if you will let him!