Greg's Notes

A Messed-Up Family Tree

When we look at the genealogy of Jesus, there are some pretty surprising names in the lineup. Most Jewish genealogies did not include women, but Matthew includes five. Who are they? Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and of course, Mary. A number of these women, and many of the men as well, were pretty immoral at points in their lives, so why include them? Answer: Because Jesus’ story is not about God helping perfect people. It’s about God saving lost people. Why do we have the genealogy of Jesus Christ?

Practical Principles 

  1. That God’s grace may be richly displayed. When you look at this list of men and women, the idea is not to focus on them; focus on the grace of God.
  2. So our focus would be on Jesus and not on His family. We have Jesus’ genealogy to show that the focus is not on the family of Christ; it’s on Christ Himself. He is the center of our worship and the source of our salvation.
  3. To show that God can intervene in your life. Maybe you have rogues in the gallery of your family history, and you think, “Well, I’ll never amount to anything.” Your ancestry doesn’t determine your behavior.

Relevant Reminders

  • I wish that we would spend less time bickering over minutia and spend more time in the church loving one another.
  • Even if you’ve made a mess out of your life, God can turn your mess into a message. He can turn your test into a testimony.
  • To not forgive someone is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.

Applicable Actions

As Christmas approaches, you’ll probably be gathering together with family. You might be traveling. Maybe your family will come to you—extended family too—and there are some family members you’re looking forward to seeing and there are a few maybe you’re not looking forward to seeing. There are some family members that have hurt you and it’s hard because you’ve never forgiven them. I would like to offer a word of advice this Christmas: you need to forgive people who’ve wronged you and hurt you in life.