Summary: The genealogy of Jesus Christ demonstrates how gracious God is and His love for sinners, because God included some unlikely grandmothers in the mix.
To Grandmother’s House We Go?
1. What scandals does your family have in their closets? A few years ago, I wrote up the Vasicek family history for our family members only. On the front page, I wrote, "Not suggested for those under 18." Most of you, if you traced back a few generation, would probably attach the same warning.
2. Although some people pride themselves on their pedigree (as though they were dogs), few families are without scandals and embarrassments – somewhere, in some generation.
3. Jesus came from a special family, a royal line. Luke’s Gospel provides us with the genealogy of Mary – a descended from David through a non-ruling line. But Matthew presents the line of his step-father, Joseph; this line could have been the ruling line if the Davidic line was on the throne in Jesus’ day.
4. Instead, a descendent of Esau, not Jacob, was on the throne: Herod the Great.
5. But both genealogies contain the same skeletons in the closet, even though Luke’s Gospel does not list the women involved, as does Matthew’s.
Main Idea: The genealogy of Jesus Christ demonstrates how gracious God is and His love for sinners, because God included some unlikely grandmothers in the mix.
TS--- There are only four women mentioned in this genealogy, and all of them are associated with scandal. The implications of this genealogy are fascinating.
I. A Few of Jesus’ Grandmothers Were SCANDALOUS
1. Studying the Old Testament broadens our minds as we learn to think through the eyes of a different culture.
2. In the ancient middle east, women were ingrained with the idea of having as many children as possible, but sons in particular; this meant honor, prestige, security, and was a sign of God’s blessing. There was no plan B.
3. If a woman was married to a man and had no children, and that man died, the custom was that the father of that man would give another son to that woman; this was even the case before the Law.
4. Jacob had 12 sons, and one of them was Judah. Judah’s son, Er, married a woman named Tamar.
5. I am shortening the version, but Er died, his brother who then married Tamar died, and Judah neglected getting another husband for Tamar from among his sons, because Tamar had no child yet. It was Judah’s responsibility, but he failed.
6. One day, when Judah was on a trip, Tamar disguised herself and dressed up as a prostitute; she seduced Judah and became pregnant and delivered twins.
7. Judah had given a security deposit to pay her, but when he returned, she had left.
8. In Genesis 38:25-26 we read (turn to the text)
Rahab was a prostitute who lived in the city of Jericho. She had heard about Yahweh, the God of Israel, and had come to acknowledge Him. When the Jewish spies came to scope out Jericho before Joshua would attack, Rahab hid them.
As a result, she was delivered from the attack and became part of the nation of Israel. Although some have suggested that the Rahab in this genalogy is not the same one, please note that the other three women listed in this genealogy are listed because they are notable. Rahab is the only Rahab who is notable.
Some interpreters try to "sanitize" the Scriptures and reduce the scandal and gore. But that is not honest, to my way of thinking. What is, is. Except when I teach AWANA Cubbies.
1. Ruth was a Moabitess who had married a Jew. He died, so Ruth, who is childless, is attached to her widow mother-in-law, Naomi. When Naomi returns to Israel -- Bethlehem, where she is from, Ruth embraces the God of Israel and accompanies Naomi.
2. Naomi schemes for Ruth to trap a relative, Boaz, into marriage. So she cuddles up to him in the field while he is sleeping. Let’s read Ruth 3:5-14
3. The plan works out, and Ruth and Boaz marry and become the great grand-parents of King David.
4. Although Ruth did nothing immoral, her behavior could have led that way and was risque’ at least.
1. Bathsheba was the mother of both Solomon and Nathan, David’s sons. Joseph descended from Solomon, Mary from Nathan.
2. Bathsheba was married to Uriah the Hittite, who was off to war.
3. David saw her bathing, called for her, and committed adultery with her.
4. Bathsheba became pregnant, so David arrange for her husband to be killed in battle.