A short while ago, I was reading the first chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew. As many reading this would know, the chapter opens with a genealogy of Jesus’ lineage back to Abraham. As I read through it this time, I saw something really neat that I never really paid careful attention to before; that being the people on the list:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ (Matt. 1:2-16).
In it we see men and women, priests, leaders, adulterers, idolaters, wicked kings, murderers, prostitutes, liars, covetous people, and even a gentile or two…
It is a cross section of all the people that Jesus came to save.
Jesus’ earthly family is just like all of us: Liars, murderers, idolaters, religious people, prideful, covetous people; men and women of all kinds.
There is so much more in this genealogy than I’ve ever given it credit for. It gives us the opportunity to rejoice and see that there is no type of person that Jesus cannot save. No sin that Jesus’ death on the cross is not sufficient to atone for. And it shows us that God will use whomever He chooses to bring Himself glory, regardless of their “goodness.”
Had I not stopped to chew on this passage, and just sped through it to get to the “more important” stuff, I would have missed something really cool that God was showing me, and an opportunity to stand in awe of how powerful and meaningful an easy-to-ignore passage of Scripture really is.