Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Matthew 1 -- Genealogy

For many years I wondered why in the world the genealogy was included in the scriptures. I know in the Old Testament there was more emphasis on the family connections as the primary way of being a part of the people of God, Israel, was through birthright. But why would they put all those pain inducing names in one sting, right at the beginning of the New Testament. Obviously they did not have a good editor working for them and the marketing department did not get to review the layout. Is it possible the problem is not the book and its layout? Could it be my understanding is limited?

As I have wrestled with the genealogy I have gained a different understanding. I am still not enamored with it, but that is not always the point of Scripture. The first revelation I have had is that Christs appearance on earth was intentional. That might sound obvious, but I mean the person to who Jesus was born and the family line was intentional. God did not randomly pick some peasant girl in the middle east to inflict being the mother of Jesus upon. The family line of Joseph mattered.

Second the genealogy shows that not all the members of Jesus earthly family line had it all together. King David, the one who murdered Uriah, Solomon the arms dealer, see Rob Bell's writings. Included are some of the Old Testament Kings, who have a sketchy past. It was not out of perfection and purity Jesus earthly family emerged. It is almost as if anyone of us could be a part of that.

The genealogy is tedious, and hard to pronounce. Easily one could skip right over it. Yet it seems there is something important in those words about who God is, and about how God relates to us.

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