THE NATURE OF HIS KINGDOM
Sunday, December 24, 2017
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“Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth… David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife…" Matthew 1:3,5,6

Many of us tend to scan over verses like the opening passage, but if we dig deeply, it sheds incredible light on the lineage of Christ. In biblical times, the genealogy of a Jewish person was documented through the bloodline of the father. The genealogy Matthew’s Gospel opens with is unique in that it includes five mothers. One is Mary, the mother of Jesus, and we can only speculate as to why the other four mothers are included. For better insight into the nature of Christ’s kingdom, it is helpful to know a little of their histories.

Tamar was a Canaanite woman who had been widowed twice by the two eldest sons of Judah. Fearing she would remain a widow and bear no children, she disguised herself as a prostitute, waited on the side of the road for her father-in-law, and deceived him into availing himself of her service. They conceived a child, and Tamar stepped into the bloodline of the Messiah. Rahab, also a Canaanite woman, lived in Jericho and earned her living as a prostitute. At risk to her life, she provided refuge for two Jewish spies. In return, when Jericho fell, Rahab and her family were brought safely into Israel where she married a Jewish man named Salmon, and she stepped into the line of the Messiah.

A severe famine in Bethlehem brought Naomi, her husband and two sons to Moab. Ruth was a Moabite and married one of Naomi’s sons. Naomi’s husband died and about ten years later, both her sons died. Naomi wanted to return to her homeland and Ruth was insistent on accompanying her. They left Moab and returned to Bethlehem where Ruth met and married Boaz. They became the great grandparents of King David. Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, committed adultery with King David, and she conceived a child. To cover up who the father was, David had Uriah placed on the frontlines of battle where he was killed. He then married Bathsheba and she stepped into the Messianic line.

The mothers Matthew lists may appear as a simple sidebar to the genealogy of Christ, but through this pedigree of sin and brokenness, we come to realize the true nature of Christ’s kingdom. Jesus was not born into a pristine, sterilized world, but into a broken, sinful world; not to stand apart from it, but to become part of it. The kingdom of God is not built on human virtues, accreditation, ability or accomplishment, but on level ground of all people, both Jew and Gentile, recognizing their need for salvation.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for uniting me with other believers in Your kingdom by giving me Your Spirit. Thank You, God.


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