Matthew 1 - Highlights
· The genealogy of Christ had some unexpected people in the line-up including a prostitute, some adulterers, a whole lot of idolaters and a couple of liars. This gives us hope that God can use us (no matter our state).
· When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant, his plan was to divorce her secretly. According to their laws, he had the right to bring her back to her father's house and, had she proven to not be a virgin, she could have been stoned to death.
· Immanuel - God with us. Prophesy was being fulfilled, the Son of God was being sent to dwell among humanity. And not only to dwell, but to save us from our sins.
Today we start the book of Matthew. There is so much information in each of these chapters that we run the risk of becoming overwhelmed if we try to dig into everything in a single blog post. Instead, we’re going to focus on finding compassion.
The online dictionary defines compassion as: “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”. Whereas the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: “a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.”.
Have you ever read the genealogy of Christ? I mean really read it. There are a lot of names there (many of which feel like tongue twisters for the Western tongue) – 42 generations worth of name to be exact. But have you ever tried to find these names in the Bible and read the stories attached to them?
So you may know that Abraham was given the promise to be made into a great nation but did you know that he had a habit of lying? He lied about the relationship between himself and his wife Sarah. On two separate occasions his lie resulted in his wife being taken from him and almost being given in marriage to another man (Genesis 12:10-20, Genesis 20:1-13).
We all know the story of Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived… only he was not so wise in his old age because he allowed his foreign wives to draw his heart away from God.
Do you know the story of Mannaseh? The Bible calls him the wickedest king who ever lived. He passed his children through the fire to Molech and built altars to idols and worshiped them.
He even built
altars to heathen gods in the temple of the Most High God (2 Chronicles 33:1-9).
He was not the only idolater in Jesus’ family tree. There was Joram, Ahaz and Amon to name a few.
Photo taken by Shantel P.
One would have thought the family line of God would be filled with holy people. But it was not! It was filled with flawed imperfect people because that’s what we are: a fallen nation that God chose to save not because we deserve it but because he loved us and had compassion on us.
God’s compassion for humanity is such that he is always trying to save us. He is always seeking what’s best for us. He is always doing something to help us in some way. Do you want to know my favorite thing about the family background of Christ? It gives me hope.
If God can use these flawed, broken people to bring about the Christ, then he can use me to do something awesome for him too. He can use you to do something to advance his kingdom. When we give our lives to him he takes our sacrifice and makes it beautiful.