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The first person I want to bring to your attention is Tamar. Does anyone remember Tamar? Shes a Sunday School teachers nightmare. Talk about your proverbial skeleton in the family closet! She was a glowing example of pragmatism. Her motto was, I will do whatever I have to in order to get the job done. Even if that involved pretending she was a prostitute in order to sleep with her father-in-law! (Read about her in Genesis 38:6ff) Tamar, certainly wasnt tame!
Each generation tells us a story of Gods working, His caring, His thrusting into the lives of His people.|
Rahab may have been a prostitute, but when she heard about the God of Israel, she knew He was the real thing and she responded. The rest of Jericho had the same news and the same opportunity, but she was the only one to take advantage of the opportunity. One person can be confronted with the reality of God and look the other way. Another person will see the mess theyve made of their lives and turn to Him in faith. Rahab happily walked out of the rubble of sin, and hopelessness, and became an example of faith, and an instrument of Gods grace. Rahab may have been a REPROBATE, but she was the only one who had the wisdom and faith to choose Gods way! As a result she was RAHAB-ILITATED.
Next, we have Ruth. Shes another person you just dont expect to see in Jesus family tree. I mean, she was a Moabite. She was from a people whom God had declared it was unlawful to marry. In other words, she was from the wrong side of the tracks and then some! A good Jew just wouldnt have married a Moabite. Ruth may have been from the wrong side of the tracks, but her loyalty and her faith are inspiring. Still, Ruth is a statement of Gods grace. According to the letter of the Law, she shouldnt have even married a Jew, but her heart, her loyalty, and her faith, brought blessing for Naomi, and the entire world because she, too, is part of Jesus family tree. Even though Ruth was an accursed Moabitess, God honored her faith and He didnt deal with her RUTH-LESSLY.
Finally we have Uriahs wife. This is interesting, isnt it? Bathsheba isnt mentioned by name. She is described as the one who had been Uriahs wife. WHAT A WAY TO BE REMEMBERED! Could it be that Matthew didnt think she was worthy enough to be named? Perhaps he wanted to remind us of her sin? Regardless, God forgave David and Bathsheba the great sin they had committed, and blessed them with Solomon. David and Uriahs WIFE certainly caused God some serious STRIFE, but that didnt stop Him from using her to bring us grace through JESUS LIFE. (Please dont ask me for my poetic license, I dont have one!)
When you start to dig into Jesus family tree you find all kinds of skeletons in His closet. Hey, weve got a medical supply store happening here! Why would God bring His Son through such a group? Whats the point?
Why would God bring His Son through such a group?|
The message of Jesus family is this: no one need think that God will not accept them, because theyre not good enough. Gods grace is sufficient for everyone who comes and places their faith in Jesus. Not only will He accept them, but He will forgive their sins, touch their lives, change their hearts, and use them to bring forth His eternal purpose in this world. Just as He used Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba.
And the angels said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find a babe rapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. (Luke 2:8-14, KJV)
Jesus is in every way, Gods expression of goodwill toward all men regardless of what theyve have done, or where theyre from. Praise God for this most wonderful, and unexpected of all gifts, the gift of Gods grace through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
© 1998 Grant MacDonald, Grant's Graceland. Used by permission.
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