What Jew in good conscience would include two prostitutes in the genealogy of Jesus? Matthew does that in the first chapter of his gospel. Rahab was a prostitute and Tamar acted as one to conceive from her father-in-law.
And there’s Jeconiah, the king cursed by the prophet Jeremiah. There’s Ruth, a Moabitess, people that were enemies of Israel. And there’s King Solomon, who had a thousand women, most from hostile nations, and steeped in those nations’ idolatry. Solomon was the son of Bathsheba, the woman with whom David committed adultery and whose husband he sent to die. Interestingly, her name is not in the genealogy, but her betrayed husband’s is!
And if you scrutinize the lives of everyone on this list of Jesus' ancestors, you will notice that they were not perfect. Or you may realize that God wanted to send us a message: He wanted to show us that those were exactly the kind of sinners Jesus came to save.
The key to understanding this is what the angel said to Joseph in a dream, after he discovered that his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant and the child was not his. The angel said: "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matt. 1:21
That Being the virgin carried in her womb had been engendered by the Holy Spirit and would be called "God with us." God was about to experience what it was to be born, live, and die like a man. God was about to experience firsthand what you and I feel. Want more empathy than that?
Oh, I almost forgot: Matthew, the author of this gospel, was not a Jew of whom his countrymen could be proud. He collected taxes for Caesar, the Roman invader, and many saw tax collectors as traitors. Imagine a Jew collecting taxes for Hitler during the Second World War and you'll understand what I mean.
Do you want to know what I think? This story about Jesus that is told in the Gospels is so incredible that it has to be true. I believe it and I believe in Him, in Jesus the Savior. I must believe, because I am a sinner as much as Matthew and all those other folks. What about you?
If you are wise enough to answer that question in the affirmative, I invite you to meet some other wise men... in the next 3 minutes.
"And the Lord gave me an answer, and said
Put the vision in writing and make it clear on stones,
so that the reader may go quickly.". Habacuque 2:2
#001 It can only be true
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