Matthew Journey Chapter 1:1-18

Every Saturday I will be going on a journey through Matthew, bit by bit. Conveniently, it begins with the Christmas story.

Matthew 1:1-18

The beginning of the New Testament is a like an epilogue/prologue. Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus in three groups of fourteen. It’s an amazing way to call back to the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures and to also begin something new. It may seem strange to us, but genealogies were very important to the Jews, and Matthew is a book written to the Jews. To them, this was not just a family tree like we would think of, that’s why not every single person is included in the list. It was a history in brief telling where a person came from and who they were; a kind of uber-compressed story. That aspect is what makes this so fascinating to me . . .

Jesus genealogy is interesting for who chooses to include. It includes four women: Tamar, Ruth, Uriah’s wife, and Mary the mother of Jesus. This is interesting first because they were women, and in Jewish society women had no standing at all and got little respect from men. Second, of all the women to be included in this list, these are odd choices. Tamar is in Jesus bloodline because she slept with her own father-in-law and had a child. Ruth was gentile, and gentiles were respected less than women. Matthew doesn’t even name Uriah’s wife, glaringly pointing out that she was not David’s wife first–David committed adultery.

One thing we’re being told here is that God can bring amazing things from the biggest mistakes we humans make. God is showing how he can redeem any situation, and even the worst of sinners can have a huge part in his redemptive plan in the end.

That, to me, is amazing.


One Response

  1. Some great thoughts here. Thanks.

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