“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
Matthew 1:1 NKJV
Matthew begins his gospel with a statement that Jesus is the Messiah and a descendant of David and of Abraham. He then proceeds to list all the ancestors of Joseph, beginning with Abraham. Being a tax collector, Mathew is a detail person and in this record, he includes four women with questionable pasts.
The first is Tamar, the daughter in law of Judah. She disguises herself as a prostitute in order to have sexual relations with Judah. Their firstborn son is Perez.
The second woman mentioned is Rahab. She was a prostitute living along the wall in the city of Jericho. She aids the spies sent by Joshua and is promised safety for her and her family during the battle of Jericho. She marries Salmon and has a son named Boaz.
The third woman is Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite. The Moabites were descendants of the child named Moab who was fathered by Lot with his eldest daughter. Ruth leaves her home country with Naomi and finds a kinsman redeemer named Boaz. Their son is Obed.
The fourth woman is described as “her who had been the wife of Uriah.” Of course this woman is Bathsheba, who was involved in a scandalous affair with King David. Solomon was born to them.
The genealogy ends with Joseph. Verse sixteen says: “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” Matthew makes the record clear; Joseph did not “beget” Jesus. Jesus was born of Mary.
Like his ancestors before him, Joseph has a decision to make about Mary. After all, she is his fiancée and she is pregnant, but not by him. The rest of the chapter reveals what Joseph decides to do with this scandal. As a result of his decision, Jesus is born. Joseph adopts Jesus as his own.
Like the four previous women, their stories have elements of disgrace. Yet in each one, grace covers over the disgrace. We too can discover grace in the disgraces of life. This grace comes from Jesus Christ.
It is our prayer that you discover grace through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.