Yesterday we looked at the wonder of prophecy and how amazing it is that God could make a promise that would come true hundreds of years later. (Well, it’s amazing to us, for God it’s pretty normal.) Today is going to be another look at a similar move by God. But this one is really, really personal.
Take a moment and read Matthew 1:1-17. Yes, read every single name. All the easy ones. And all the weird ones.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Hopefully, you recognized some of the names. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David. Maybe even a few others (like Rahab, a reformed prostitute, proving that God can redeem anyone from their sins.) Most of them you probably have never heard before, and that’s ok. But even though you don’t recognize their names, this list is super important. It’s not just a strange cultural thing that would have been popular 2,000 years ago. This list of names accomplishes a few things: it proves that Jesus is the promised Messiah, who would one day be sent to restore the Israelites. (Of course, we know that Jesus did more than just save the Israelites; through His death and resurrection, Jesus provided a way for all who will believe in Him to be saved from their sins.) Old Testament prophecy said that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Look back at verse 6. Whose name do you see?
But, among other things, this list doesn’t simply prove that Jesus’ lineage was what it should be. It proves that God works through people. It proves that every life matters. This list is full of people who were going about their lives, living as faithfully as possible. While we don’t know for sure, it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of them had ZERO idea that one of their ancestors would be God’s promised Son. Most of them were ordinary people living ordinary lives. And yet, thousands of years later, we read their names. There is so much wonder in this! Your life works much the same way. You have no idea what God is doing in and through you, but you can know for sure that God is using you to advance His Kingdom.
Think About This:
In what ways does your life function to the world around you as a testimony of the “realness” of God?
Is there anything in your life that is an obstacle to your wonder? What would it take for you to remove the obstacle so you can see this Christmas season with open eyes?