Today I am starting to read through the Gospels, starting with Matthew. This is an effort to get to know my savior better. It’s been too long since I have set down and give much attention to the Gospels, so it’s time. Going slow, one chapter a day.
Today, is Matthew 1: The Genealogy of Jesus. Now don’t get me wrong, I like genealogy. I have some of my own family traced back 1,000 years. This genealogy of Jesus traces back further than that. And while there are good theological and historical reasons for Matthew including this, I’m not getting into that here. And frankly, a study on that isn’t my reason for reading. But to learn more about Jesus the person. And what His story says to me as I live out mine.
Here’s what I keep coming back to: God uses us, broken as we are, to fulfill his plans. Follow me for a minute… The coming of Christ to earth wasn’t an afterthought, an accident, or random chance. The Godhead had planned this from before the creation of the world. God had this planned. He had a time in mind (Galatians 4:4), a place in mind (Micah 5:2), and even the method (Isaiah 7:14). So isn’t it logical to assume he had a family in mind?
In fact, the entirety of the Old Testament is to get us to the Messiah. It is full of types and shadows of Jesus. It all points towards Jesus. So, don’t lose me here, the genealogy of Jesus was part of God’s plan.
And here’s what that means to me… God uses us, broken as we are, to fulfill his plans.
- Judah fathers Perez and Zerah by Tamar, a woman who at the time was not his wife and in fact was his widowed daughter-in-law.
- Rahab, the mother of Boaz, was a prostitute who turned her life around and married Salmon.
- David… Do we even have to go there? I mean do we forget the murder of Uriah to cover his sin with Bathsheba?
- Rehoboam was a young and foolish ruler who split the kingdom of Israel.
- Manasseh sacrificed his baby boy in pagan worship.
And those are just some of the names listed. A little more digging reveals that Jesus is the descendant of wicked King Ahab and evil queen Jezebel (their daughter married into the family of Judah, and all future kings of Judah would be descended from them).
God uses us, broken as we are, to fulfill his plans.
And you thought you had skeletons in your family’s closet.
If God could use all of these messed up, some even evil, people to accomplish his purposes, what can he do with my life? I’m under no illusions of being perfect or the Son of God… but is it possible the same God who providentially guided the family tree of his Son is also guiding me? Is he not allowing me to be shaped and molded by life events, and even my background?
Now, the implications of this thought can be vast. But without going down multiple rabbit trails, I’m just going to thank God that while I am shaped by my background, by my past, by decisions made by others who came before me, my future is not determined by them. God is able to use me, broken as I am, to bring about His redemptive plan. And He is able to take what is a broken story and write a new chapter.
I’m excited to see what He writes next in my story. And in yours.