I can’t help but pause in my writing for lit class to share what today’s sermon was about.
Have you ever read Mathew 1? The part about Jesus’ family line? It’s one of those things that is really easy to skip over- just a long list of really hard to read names that mean next to nothing to us today. But if you pause long enough to read it you’ll be surprised to find 5 particular names embedded into Jesus’ family line, 5 female names, and not just any females, these women’s lives were far from perfect or free from gossip worthy events.
Tamar Do you remember her from Genesis 38? She was denied a husband by her would-be-father-in-law and so she seduced him and he got her pregnant (thinking she was a prostitute.) Judah was in the wrong, but that didn’t make her actions any better. Despite these sins, Jesus wanted her mentioned in his lineage. God gave her justice and grace.
Rahab She didn’t have to pretend, Rahab was a professional prostitute. In Joshua 2 we find her story, of how she protected the Israelite spies when they came to scout out Jericho and how they promised that she and her family would be saved when the Jews attacked the city. Jesus wanted this woman as part of his family, a prostitute and a Canaanite gentile. She had faith and was saved and made a part of Jesus’ lineage.
Ruth She was a Moabite, an enemy of the Israelites. Her family and nation came from the incestuous union of Lot and his oldest daughter. Moab worshiped a pagan god that sometimes required child sacrifices. Ruth walked away from her family, country and religion to follow the God of Isreal. She married Boaz, the son of Rahab (a prostitute). God gave her grace and redemption and a whole book of the Bible named after her along with a honored place in Jesus’ lineage.
Bathsheba This girl had it all going for her, she was from a rich and priestly line, she was married to Uriah, one of Israel’s mighty men (basically like a super star) and she was very beautiful. Then she becomes a victim of rape and murder when King David makes her sleep with him and then kills her husband. Of course there must be some blame placed on her (what was she doing bathing on the roof anyway? and it does take two to “tango”). Even so, she marries David and is entered into Jesus’ lineage. Forgiven and under grace, she raises the wisest man the world has ever known- King Solomon.
Mary This young lady I’m sure had to face some vicious gossip- getting pregnant before married? phew-we girl! We all know that this was God’s doing and that the virgin birth was prophesied, but this wouldn’t have been an easy thing to live down in these days. If Joseph hadn’t taken her as his wife anyway she could’ve/would’ve been stoned for having relations before marriage. It was her faith and servanthood and her own good lineage (we can trace her fathers back to King David) that placed her as the mother of Jesus.
5 amazing women placed in Jesus’ family, forgiven, rescued, and under grace. What a beautiful love story.