Jesus Came From Those He Came For

Sam Guthrie | December 21, 2016

The Old Testament prepares us for Christmas morning. All of it. And the New Testament opens with a genealogy (Matt. 1:1–17) that rings with significance for our lives.

Jesus’s family tree isn’t simply a list of names to skim over to get to the “substance” of the gospel, nor is the story of Israel that comes before it. Rather, the genealogy of Jesus offers us a bird’s-eye view of God’s active and historic promise—one that grounds us in our past, solidifies us in the present, and catapults us into the future. 

Paving the Way for a King 

Matthew lists these names deliberately, with the promise of the Messiah in mind. In fact, his genealogy is less a static list and more the makings of a great drama. Names like Abraham remind us that the line of Israel was saved with the extraordinary birth of Isaac. From famous David to obscure Eliakim, the genealogy unfolds and uncovers the drama of Israel’s redemption.

And then there’s its unusual inclusion of women. The women mentioned are, in varying degrees, marked by promiscuity and destitution. Tamar, disguised as a prostitute, slept with her father-in-law Judah. Rahab, possibly a prostitute, hid Israelite spies in Jericho because she trusted God’s power to save. Ruth, a Moabite, was…

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