Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Family Tree

"And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called  Christ." Matthew 1:16

Are the "begats" really boring? I'm referring to those places in the Bible when so-and-so begat so-and-so and the names seem to drudge on endlessly. At first glance the reading seems to be dis-missable, so one can arrive at the juicy part of fruit. But if we we skim over or delete such pertinent information, we actually delete some of the best bites of the whole story.

As I re-read the birth of Jesus in the book of Matthew, I exhaled perusing those "begats." Then I decided to become an undercover agent and dig into those mysterious people who formed the family tree of my precious Lord and Savior. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a host of misfits and depraved human beings. Abraham was ancient when God used him, Josiah - a mere child when he became king. Prostitutes are sprinkled along some of the family's branches, as well as foreigners, murderers, adulterers, and idolaters. Some of these folks were repentant for their sins and some died in their sinfulness. Many died holding fast to their faith, but not all.

What do all of these creatures of the Living God have in common? They are included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The ones who lied, deceived, prostituted, and murdered. The ones who fared well and those who failed miserably - all were used to create the story of the birth of our Messiah.

When reading the list of "begats" of Matthew, my eyes fall on the verse that culminates in "of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ." The Light of the world came from a long line of people who held darkness in their hearts. As descendants of the family tree that continued to grow, we are part of the ongoing story. He came to bring light and create us to be Light bearers.

 This is the Christmas message, beginning before the birth of Christ and still ongoing. We are part of the story that still needs to be heard. The depravity of humanity needed divinity so we could spend eternity with Him.

Merry Christmas!

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