Day 15 – Matthew 1
Now this was an odd choice for a reading. Is that what you were thinking? Sometimes we want to just skip right over the genealogies in the Bible. <<yawn!>> However, this genealogy was perhaps more interesting because of some familiar names in it. Did you find Rahab and Ruth and Boaz and even Obed, that cute little baby that brought so much joy, right there in the middle of it all? That’s right, the people we’ve just been studying are highlighted by Matthew.
Matthew’s genealogy is unique in that it lists four women as well as the more traditional listing of the men. I wonder if Matthew, the tax collector who was reviled for his profession, was especially grateful for the inclusion in the line of Christ of women who also were reviled or looked down upon in some way. Not one of the four women had an impeccable past. Ruth came the closest. She couldn’t help it that she was from Moab. And really, when you think about it, Moab was not responsible for the horrific decision of his mother in his birth. He just was Moab. And from him came a nation and a beautiful and godly woman named Ruth. Each woman in that genealogy had a story. Just like you do. Just like I do.
What I love about the Bible is its truthfulness about the good and the bad in people. Just like us, every single Bible character dealt with poor choices, consequences from sinful behaviors, and the calling of God upon their lives. How do you feel about your story? Do you love to tell it? Are there parts that you hide away? Please be encouraged that God loves you and is able to turn the hardest story into one of joy and grace!
Matthew goes right into the history of Joseph and Mary and Jesus’ birth after this genealogy. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, also had quite the story, didn’t he? When he asked for Mary’s hand in marriage, he had no idea what God was planning for him and his life! He was blindsided by Mary’s pregnancy, stunned by the angel’s message that she carried Messiah in her womb, and obedient to God’s call on his life. I love Joseph.
My regular Bible reading this morning had me in Zechariah. God often allows us to go through hardship and trials. Yet, like gold or silver in a fire, we are not consumed, but purified. Meditate on these words as I close out today’s thoughts and do share your own thoughts and comments below.
I will bring that group through the fire
and make them pure.
I will refine them like silver
and purify them like gold.
They will call on my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘These are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
—Zechariah 13:9 NLT
My verse: Matthew 1:22 “All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet.”
My response: Lord, reading through the genealogy and then to this verse on prophecy, I am amazed at how You planned the coming of Jesus … for centuries before it happened. All the years of waiting, had purpose as life unfolded. And when the right time came – the Savior was born. Help me to be patient, Lord, trusting that You are working things together for good.