And Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse (Matt. 1:5 ESV)
Though we expect the Son of God, of all human beings, to have the purest of genealogies, God defies our expectations by including women in Jesus’ genealogy and choosing those with a degenerate character we would not expect in the Messiah’s lineage. We will briefly review how God revealed His purpose to welcome both the worst of sinners and the religious outcast into His family.
The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 includes five women—Tamar, Rehab, Ruth ( v5), Bathsheba ( v6), and Mary ( v16). This inclusion was unusual for two main reasons. First, women were usually not included in genealogies as Jewish descent was typically traced through men as the head of the family. Second, four of these women are more so morally defiled that the last place we would expect to see them in the Holy Book is in the genealogy of the holiest Man who ever lived. Tamar and Rehab were prostitutes, Ruth was a gentile, and Bathsheba was an adulteress. Yes, these were Jesus’ grandparents!
What lesson can we learn from this atypical genealogy? God the Father was telling us the Savior was coming with an open arm to embrace the two major groups of outcasts–sinners and gentiles. The Savior is holy and Jewish by birth, but He has in His natural bloodline the worst of sinners and the religious resentment of the Jews—gentiles. He is not only the God of all people but also the God of another chance.
Therefore, the Christmas story reveals God’s heart and open arms to give a chance to every human being. He allows everyone to come to Him, irrespective of their past. When we genuinely turn to Him, He changes us to become His children, removing our polluted prior identity, whatever that was, and giving us a new identity as His children.
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Who are the five women in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1 as noted above?
Apply the Word
As long as there is breath in our nostrils, we can still make a complete turnaround by wholeheartedly turning to God—irrespective of the mess we find ourselves. This is true not only for those estranged from God but also for those who are saved. Christmas reminds us He is the God of another chance, and for all people.
Thank the Lord for His open arms to receive us always.