| Brian and Cathy Barbre read Matthew 1:17 | Benjamin J Nichols sings Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming | Ben shares a meditation on the significance of Jesus' geneology |
All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.
A study of Jesus genealogies would be interesting in itself, but to read them tends to be painful and boring to many of us. The truth is, other peoples' family trees tend to be pretty dull.
You would think, as the Son of God, Jesus’ family tree would be short and exciting.
Something along the lines of: Jesus was the Son of God, the Creator of all things.
That is not the case.
Jesus has generations of family before His Advent. Some of His ancestors were pretty cool, Ruth, Boaz, Abraham, David. He also has some ancestors who were pretty awful, Ahaz, Joash, Manasseh… David.
There are a few relevant points we can take from Jesus family tree:
Jesus was fully human as well as fully God. He had grandparents, great grandparents, etc.
Jesus took on all our frailties. Even those of a messed up family tree.
No matter the awful decisions a person might make, they can never stop or even delay the work and perfect timing of God.
While our history may inform how we got to where we are, it does not determine where God will take us.
As you read through Jesus’ genealogies, you discover He’s connected throughout history. The common thread of the entire Old Testament connects God to Adam to Jesus Christ. If you know the stories of several of the family members it becomes like a concentrated Cliff’s Notes version of promises and prophecies.
This should give us a great deal of encouragement. Jesus understands the dynamics of families. Jesus experienced the chaos of growing up and the consequences other people’s decisions have on our lives. Jesus was not destroyed by the bad choices of His ancestors.
Jesus entered into humanity in a real, tactile, living way; not as a spiritual idea, but as a real, living, human being.
Father, thank you for being willing to enter into the mess and occasional ugliness of humanity to provide a way back to you. Help us to recognize your image in every face we see this Advent season. Help us understand that everyone we encounter, even those who may be unkind, may very well be part of a glorious story we know nothing about.