(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
[Before I tackle the Scripture for today let me first apologize for my inconsistent appearance on the New Normal lately. With God’s blessing we are conquering the difficulties that made that inconsistency necessary and I am pleased to be back with you. With that said, why not return with the opening chapter of the New Testament and the genealogy and birth of Jesus Christ.]
The genealogy presented by Matthew and the genealogy presented in Luke differ. Some say that Matthew’s genealogy follows the paternal lineage. Some say that Matthew’s genealogy has a number of omissions which cause it to be questionable. Either way you look at the lineage presented in Matthew it is important to realize that the purpose of Jewish genealogy was not to account for EVERY generation but instead to establish a succession that is undoubted. The genealogy presented by Matthew would have been well accepted by the readers of the original document as thorough and accurate at establishing the lineage of Jesus from David and even more completely from Abraham. That being said, the thoroughness of Matthew’s genealogy cannot penetrate the minds of those that were blinded to Jesus’ reality.
Either way you look at it the lineage of Jesus is for man’s purposes alone and is yet another way that God chose to show to man that He is in control and that He is a just and forgiving God. Putting the discussion of accuracy aside I feel that it is important to note the story that is told through the generations that are presented in Matthew’s lineage. As with most of the Scripture we study the story told through this is GRACE.
Jacob, the younger twin of Esau, who conned Esau’s birthright from him. Boaz, the son of Rahab the prostitute who lived in Jericho and helped the spies that were sent from Israel’s army. Ruth, the Moabite redeemed by the previously named Boaz. David, the murderer and adulterer. Solomon, the product of that adulterous union.
God’s grace and His willingness to use people in spite of their weaknesses, in spite of their struggles, is truly the most important tidbit of information to be drawn from this portion of Matthew.
Even in the story Matthew presents of Mary and Joseph: for the culture of the time Joseph shows amazing grace, although under angelic coercion, when he continues with his commitment to take Mary as his wife. The virgin birth of Jesus fulfills prophecy both through its lineage and through its occurrence and is the culmination of a plan of grace that God orchestrated from the very beginning.
As we ponder that reality, that God knew the inevitability of His walk with humankind and the torture and death that walk would bring about, His grace is even more amazing. I stand amazed today at everything God has done for us; and in the aftermath of the issues my family has been dealing with lately I completely know that God is in control and everything that happens, no matter how challenging, will be used for His glory.
The action steps on the heels of Matthew 1 are to always look to God. Seek His face in daily prayer. Go to Him with praise and concern. Trust in Him always and lean on Him. All things are possible through Him only.