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Daily Reading: 26th April 2016

Matthew 1.1

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 

At the present time there is a lot of interest in the genealogy of people. There are a number of websites that deal with tracing the family tree of people, trying to go back in history as far as possible.

Such an interest in a persons’ family tree was particularly important to the Jews, because it gave validity to who a person was and from what stock he (she) had come.

Remembering that Matthew was writing for the Jews we can begin to see why he begins his gospel by laying down the earthly lineage of Jesus; and it is a noble and royal family tree.

The word of God tells us that all priests in Israel had to come from the lineage of Aaron:

[13] “Clothe Aaron with the holy garments and anoint him, setting him apart to serve Me as a priest. [14] Then bring his sons and dress them in their tunics. [15] Anoint them as you did their father, so they may serve Me as priests. With this anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation” – Exodus 40.15 (NLT).

Therefore,, all priests had to be able to provide evidence of their priestly descent. There was no promotion to the priesthood, it was a calling that lasts through all generations.

A person’s family tree was vitally important to the Jews.

In the family tree that Matthew lists we see that there are a number of women. This is quite remarkable, since women would very rarely have a place in a Jews family tree. Yet Matthew lists:

Rahab, a foreigner and prostitute from Jericho;

Ruth, a Moabite, of whom the word of God says:

“No Ammonites or Moabites, or any of their descendants for ten generations, may be included in the assembly of the LORD” – Deuteronomy 23.3 (NLT).

Bathsheba, an adulteress through the seducing influence of David.

Tamar, seduced her father-in-law, Judah, and she conceived twins.

The only one of these women to seemingly be virtuous was Ruth, yet they are all mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.

The truth is to be found in the words of Paul:

As people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant – Romans 5.20 (NLT).

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