Today's Lectionary Text
Matthew 1: 1-17Genealogy of Jesus
A record of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac.
Isaac was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar.
Perez was the father of Hezron.
Hezron was the father of Aram.
Aram was the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.
Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth.
Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam.
Rehoboam was the father of Abijah.
Abijah was the father of Asaph.
Asaph was the father of Jehoshaphat.
Jehoshaphat was the father of Joram.
Joram was the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah was the father of Jotham.
Jotham was the father of Ahaz.
Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh.
Manasseh was the father of Amos.
Amos was the father of Josiah.
Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
This was at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud.
Abiud was the father of Eliakim.
Eliakim was the father of Azor.
Azor was the father of Zadok.
Zadok was the father of Achim.
Achim was the father of Eliud.
Eliud was the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar was the father of Matthan.
Matthan was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary—of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Christ.
So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the exile to Babylon to the Christ.
He has his father’s nose! She has her mother’s smile! He must get his musical ability from his grandmother. She must get those dimples from her grandfather. I was even told years ago that my son was bound to be tall, because my husband and I are both tall…except I never told the person that my “son” is actually my stepson. I claim him and love him as he were my very own!
On this first Monday in Advent, we look at the first verses of the Gospel of Matthew, the genealogy of Jesus, going back to Abraham, as an act of proof that Jesus was the descendant of Abraham and King David that had been predicted in the Old Testament.
This is some pretty amazing record-keeping if we were to truly think about it! My grandmother worked for years, and looked back into her family history, as well as my grandfather’s family and I know she didn’t make it 42 generations!! In fact, my cousin, Kevin, has continued to work on it, filling in gaps, and he has made it back to the 17th century in Germany, I believe, and that is only 13 generations back.
Another interesting fact about my family, coming from Germany, my maiden name is Wright, and we have noted some spelling changes throughout the decades, from Reydt, to Reith, to the most recent Wright, and they believe it may have been because of not wanting to be associated with German Reich. However, it also occurred with the generation that had moved to the United States, so it may have occurred with the paperwork when coming to a new nation.
Whatever the case is with my genealogy, it is interesting to learn about it and all the nuances, just as Jesus has nuances in his. For example, we see four women, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba listed in Jesus’ lineage. It was very unusual during this time for women to be included in Jewish genealogy, let alone, two Gentile women (Rahab and Ruth), and some of these women may have also made some questionable lifestyle choices.
What is reassuring to me, and I hope it can be reassuring to you, too, is that God uses everyone, regardless of past choices, and can make things new. Nothing is impossible with God. We may have people and skeletons in our closets that we may think will keep us from God, but God used many broken people for His good many years ago and will continue to do so today. That is the Hope we have through Advent and through the light and life of Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, Great Light of the World, we thank you for the genealogy of Jesus, that we can be reassured and hopeful that even though we may have blemishes in our families and even in ourselves, that you love us, and you forgive us and still use us for your glory. Thank you for always loving us and being with us.
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