In our Bible Reading Plan we come to Matthew 1-2 today. Don’t hate the genealogy. Don’t skip the genealogy. Since we are told that all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it means that the genealogies are also instructive. Here are a couple of thoughts that came to my mind as I read it.
1. Women are mentioned. In a society so patriarchal as to render the women invisible, the feminists say, here are some women added to the holiest of genealogies, the line of Christ.
2. The particular women mentioned by name. In Matthew 1:3, we read: “Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar” verse 5 has both: “Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab”, verse “Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth”, and verse 6b has “And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah”.
These women are outcasts, as John MacArthur’s commentary calls them. Tamar was a Canaanite daughter-in-law of Judah who dressed as a prostitute to trick Judah for various convoluted Old Testament reasons. As the Commentary concludes her story, “God’s grace fell on all three of these undeserving persons, including a desperate and deceptive Gentile harlot.”
Rahab was a Gentile and a professional prostitute. However, she feared God and protected the spies when they came to Jericho. As a result, God rained down grace by including her in the Messianic line, making her the mother of Boaz, King David’s great-grandfather.
Ruth was also a Gentile. She was a Moabite and a former pagan, who had no legal right to marry an Israelite, but God’s grace swept her into the family of Israel and into the Royal line through Boaz and she became David’s grandmother.
3. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah. Did you catch that? Bathsheba is mentioned, but not named. That jumped out at me.
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and later, Mary are mentioned by name. Not this one. Of course we know she is Bathsheba, who bathed naked on the rooftop under the lascivious eyes of David. Incited, David contrived a way to put Bathsheba’s husband Uriah at the front lines, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah was killed at the front lines, David took Bathsheba for his wife, and then the son from this illicit union died in infancy. Their second son was Solomon. But God’s grace was sufficient to keep ‘the wife of Uriah’ in the royal line and she became ancestor to the Messiah.
The genealogy of Jesus Christ is immeasurably more than a list of ancient names; it is even more than a list of Jesus’ forebears. It is a beautiful testimony to God’s grace and to the ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners… If He has called sinners by grace to be His forefather,s should we be surprised when He calls them by grace to be his descendants? The King presented here is truly the King of grace! ~John MacArthur
Don’t skip the genealogies. 🙂