Summary: Based a lot on Look Who is in the Family Tree, this looks at the women in Jesus’ genealogy, to see Him as the King (2nd in Worship the King series) with a shady lineage.
Matthew 1:1-17 – What a Woman
Someone once wrote these words: Things My Mother Taught Me. My mother taught me RELIGION: When I spilled grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray the stain will come out of the carpet." My mother taught me LOGIC: From her decisive words, "Because I said so, that’s why." My mother taught me FORESIGHT: "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident." My mother taught me IRONY: "Keep laughing, and I’ll give you something to cry about." My mother taught me about STAMINA: "You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is finished." My mother taught me about WEATHER: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room." My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out." My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: "Stop acting like your father!" My mother taught me about ENVY: "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have a wonderful Mom like you do!"
Today, this being Mother’s Day, we are going to take some time on our journey through looking at how Christ is King, and perhaps even learn a lesson from a mother or 2. We are going to look at Jesus’ family tree.
Whenever anyone begins to study their family’s lineage and history, they are usually warned that they might find out things they weren’t expecting. They might find out that their great great uncle was a horse thief or that one of their ancestors was a deserter. When you study your family’s history, you are usually in for some surprises. In the genealogy of Jesus there are some surprises also; people that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in His family tree.
The Bible records 2 family trees of Jesus. Luke records the Lord’s genealogy in Luke 3. It is traced through Mary’s side, from Mary to Adam. Now, it establishes the physical descent from David, but it includes no women. However, Matthew’s genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17 is traced through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father, all the way back to Abraham. It establishes Christ’s legal royal lineage, and it includes the names of five women. Today, we are going to look at these 5 women. Each one by itself could stand as a sermon all by itself. But instead, this being Mother’s Day, we will just skim the surface, get a glimpse of Jesus’ ancestors, and hopefully get a nugget of truth about God in the process.
The 1st is Tamar - Matthew 1:1-3. The story of Tamar is located in Genesis 38. Judah, the son of Jacob, also called Israel, had taken a Canaanite, a foreign, pagan wife, who bore him 3 sons. He chose a wife by the name of Tamar for his oldest son, Er. Er was according to Genesis 38:7 "was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him." He died leaving no heir. Judah then followed the law of the day: he gave Tamar as wife to the oldest surviving son, to Onan (Genesis 38:8). This was the law that was later to become known as the Levirate custom (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Matthew 22:24). The law stated that if a man died without children, then the next oldest son was to marry his wife and bear a son. By law, the son was legally the first-born son and heir of the deceased brother. This assured two things: (a) that the family name continued, and (b) that the property holdings were kept in the family. Onan failed to obey this law and was slain by God (Genesis 38:9-10) Judah’s only surviving son, Shelah was too young to marry. Thus Judah told Tamar to return to her father’s home until Shelah was old enough to marry her. But Judah had no plan of letting Tamar marry his third son. He considered her bad luck. As far as he was concerned, she was either directly or indirectly the cause of his two sons’ death.
Now, Tamar realized that Judah had no intention of ever letting Shelah marry her. She worked out an elaborate scheme where she could trick Judah and bear a son through him (Genesis 38:14). She dressed in the clothing of a temple prostitute, veiled herself, and sat down out by the side of the road where the temple prostitutes usually sat. He had not faintest idea that the woman he thought to be a prostitute was his daughter-in-law, Tamar. Judah voluntarily agreed to sleep with Tamar after which she returned to her father’s house and put on her widow’s clothing once again (Genesis 38:19). She became pregnant with twins Perez and Zerah. This first born of prostitution to Tamar came into the messianic line that would go through David. An unlikely member of the family tree.