Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sinners in the Genealogy of Jesus The Messiah

I think the biggest good news for Christmas season is reconciliation that Jesus brought. God's idea of reconciliation had been prepared even before Israel became a nation. It started by the time God called Abraham. I believe that God determined the people in the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah purposefully. These sinners below were chosen to show us how great is His love for the sinners!

1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Besides Mary, we can find 4 other women in the genalogy of Jesus the Messiah. God involved these four women in His masterpiece. These four women had sexual scandal or came from the gentiles. Let's see the women one by one.

1. Tamar
The story of Tamar was written in the middle of Joseph's story to show the moral background at the time Joseph lived. Therefore we could say without doubt that Joseph was a true godly man who fear of the Lord and respect the holiness in marriage. So here is the story of Tamar. She was Judah's daughter-in-law. She married Er, Judah'son, but he was wicked in the Lord's sight; so the Lord put him to death. According to the applied rules at that time, Er's younger brothers had to raise up offspring for their brother, Er. Therefore Judah asked Onan to sleep with Tamar. But Onan knew that the child would never be his. So he decided to spilled his semen whenever he slept with Tamar. The Lord saw this as a wicked thing and put him to death also. As the father-in-law, Judah had to give his last son, Shelah, to Tamar. But Judah did not give him because he thought that Shelah may die too just like his brothers. After a long time, Judah's wife died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah. When Tamar was told about this, she planned to disguise herself as a prostitute and had offspring from Judah for she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not given to him as his wife. By the end of Genesis 38, we knew that she gave birth to two sons. One of them was Hezron, who was chosen to be one of Jesus' forefathers.
God has chosen a woman who slept with her father-in-law to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah.

2. Rahab
Rahab was a prostitute. Okay, she helped two men and hidden them when the king of Jericho was looking for Israel's spies. But still, she was a prostitute!!
If you read carefully Joshua 2, you can find that Rahab knew exactly who is the Lord Almighty! She knew that the land where she lived was and is belong to the Israelites.

8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

She did not only know it but her heart also melted in fear in the Lord. Therefore she asked the spies to swear to her by the Lord that they will show kindness to her family because has shown kindness to them.
In Joshua 6, we can find that the spies fulfilled their oath to Rahab. They brought out Rahab and her entire family, then put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
Amazingly, the story does not stop here. She married with an Israelite man, whose name was Salmon (not the yummy fish! hehe :p). The Bible does not tell us who Salmon is, except the fact that he was Boaz's father. As we can find in the book of Ruth, Boaz was a godly man. So probably Salmon was also a godly man, because we know exactly that the Israelites usually became godly men just as their fathers were.
And God put her into the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah!!! How lucky is she! She was saved, married a godly man, and her name was written in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah!
God, she was a prostitute! Yes, she was. But then she became a woman who fear of the Lord. And as far as the east is from the west, the Lord seemed forgot her sins as a prostitute. She might be repented and became  a believer. But still, she was a prostitute!! And also, she was a gentile!! She did not pure enough to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah! Why did not God choose another Israel woman, like Mary?
God has chosen a prostitute from the Gentiles to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah.

3. Ruth
It is easier to accept Ruth in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah. She was a woman of noble character. She was a woman who fear of the Lord. She was so faithful to her mother-in-law. She had not run after young men, rich or poor. Although she was a Moabite, it just fine for us to accept her in the family of David. But still, once again, she was a gentile. And she was a widow. Why did not God choose a godly and virgin woman from the Israelites to be a Boaz's wife?
God has chosen a Moabite to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah.

4. Uriah's wife/Batsheba
If I was God, I would like to choose Abigail, Nabal's wife, to became the mother of Solomon. We know that Solomon was a wise king. Abigail was also a wise woman. They would be matched to became mother and son. But God has chosen Bathseba to be the mother of Solomon and surely even though her name was not written as the other three women above, she was chosen to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah.

God has chosen an unfaithful wife to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah.

So God has chosen a naughty daughter-in-law, a prostitute, a Moabite, and an unfaithful wife to be in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah. He did not hide their identities. He wrote about them a chapter, even a book in the Bible. From the three women above, none was worthy of this previlege to be written in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah. God wrote their name to show that His mercy had shown before Jesus came to earth. His forgiveness is beyond our knowledge. What He gave to these four women was more than a mercy, more than a grace, more than a forgiveness!! I couldn't find the right word because this fact is very INDESCRIBABLE!!!

When I reflected the genealogy of Jesus Christ to my own life, I was so thankful that I am a woman. I could see very clear that I am as naughty as Tamar even though I would never sleep with my father-in-law. I am not better than a prostitute for I was and am a great sinner even though I am a Christian woman! And yeah, surely I am not an Israelite. I am an Indonesian-Chinese that some Indonesia people say "not an original Indonesian-girl" and Chinese in China would say, "not Chinese-girl since she was born in Indonesia and her citizenship is Indonesia and she cannot speak mandarin". So who am I? Hehe... I am still single and even though I have no husband right now, I have been unfaithful to my Heavenly Husband, my Lord Jesus Christ. God did not put my name on the genealogy of Jesus Christ, of course. But I have been forgiven and include in God's work just as the four women in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah. I have been experience His forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, blessings, and even more!!!

Thanks God for choosing Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Batsheba in the genealogy of Jesus The Messiah!

I am an unworthy woman, but now become the apple of  His eyes! Not because what I did and do, but because of God Himself! By this fact my heart is rejoice with exceedingly GREAT JOY!!! I hope you feel it too! Have yourself a great joyful Christmas!!

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