The Church gives us the genealogy of Jesus for our meditation. A passage we usually overlook. We may naturally wonder if reading the story of Jesus’ birth is better than getting bored of reading so many names that may not be of no interest. 42 generations divided into three parts. The roots of the history of salvation are intertwined in these generations. Here there are burning coals of slavery, there is the pain of exile, and there are rays of hope. That is why the journey in search of roots is valuable. The narration of the genealogy is a passage that affirms the truth that God is faithful to His promises.
This genealogy asserts that Christ, the fulfilment of all promises, is the Savior of the world. Let us think today about some of the individuals in this long description.
Jacob was one of Jesus’ forefathers. He is indeed one of the great ancestors of Israel. At the same time, the book of Genesis portrays Jacob as a man wrestling with God (Gen. 32: 22-32). The narration says that the angel struck him on the waist, and he had limping leg from then on, a permanent sign of wrestling with God. Jacob reminds us of many who, despite having believed and prayed to God, struggled with their faith. He represents the man who questions God in times of distress. So you may be spiritually wounded like Jacob. But the Son of God was willing to choose the one who wrestled with God in this way as his Father. He chooses you as his family member, who struggles to understand God His ways.
Another character in the genealogy is a woman named Rahab. She did not have a good history. She was a prostitute. When Israel was on the way to the land of Canaan, she sheltered the spies who came to spy out the land (Joshua 2: 1-24). Later, when Israel conquers the land, she and her family are saved from death. Naturally, the presence of a prostitute in the family is not something to be proud of. But she has a place in Jesus’ family. Sometimes you also think, I am a great sinner, how will God treat me! I am a mortal sinner; I have not been able to remain faithful to the love God has shown me. That is why God may have ever removed my name from his book. Are these your thoughts? Look at this passage. Rahab has a place there. He gives every sinner the opportunity to be a member of his family.
Look again, Jesus has a grandmother named Ruth. She was a Moabite woman an outsider. She is married to an Israelite. She remains faithful to her mother-in-law when her husband dies. But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16). She stands as a sign of extraordinary loyalty. She goes with Naomi and lives in Bethlehem. In that city, Boaz marries her, and she becomes the grandmother of Jesse, David’s father.Do you feel isolated or unrecognized by others? Our Lord was pleased to choose a Gentile woman as his forefather. You do not have to worry about being unfit to be among God’s children. He is happy to hold you close.
What about David? We can say without a doubt that David was the most powerful king in the Old Testament. He united the tribes of Israel, captured Jerusalem, brought the Ark of the covenant to Israel, and made Israel a superpower among other nations. At the same time, he is a murderer and possesses another man’s wife (2 Sam. 11). Are you a politically or socially powerful man like David who at the same time carries the stain of a secret sin inside without anyone knowing? God who chose David has prepared a place for you too.
The end portion of the genealogy tells of some unfamiliar friends, such as Azor, Eliakim, and Zadok. We do not know who they are or what they did. you may think, I have achieved nothing in my life so far, I am nobody in front of others. If Jesus chose these unknown men as His forefathers, He would choose you as His Son.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John1:14) When John narrates theologically the incarnation of Jesus, Matthew tells us in his genealogy how it happened in history. This is what God tells us, who made sinners and even prostitutes part of His promises, and filled the deficiency of human weaknesses with His abundant mercy; “My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12: 9).