Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jesus' genealogies

Don't you just love the begats?? Each name represents a family, a mom and dad and at least one son or daughter. Generations. Survival. Struggle. History.

The New Testament records Jesus' genealogies of both his earthly father, Joseph a little different one of his mom, Mary.

At first, they may seem confusing. Matthew's account starts with Abraham. While Luke's starts with Jesus through Mary until you get to Nathan, David's son--but not Solomon, the kingly line of Matthew.

So, it take s little study, and counting, and mining the nuggets or jewels hidden here. Why did God go to so much trouble to record Jesus's ancestors? Well, the Matthew account records the kingly line, Jesus' right to be king as promised for He was descended from David through Solomon down to Joseph. And the Luke account travels back in time through Mary and Nathan and King David, and all the way back to Adam and Eve, establishing the fact that Jesus was true humanity via his mother.

Since the Bible clearly states that Jesus was the actual Creator---Jesus started in motion, formed from the dust of the ground, the very body that He would put on some 76 generations later. Counting Adam as the first generation, then Mary was the 76th generation, making Jesus number 77. Jesus created His own great times 76 grandpa.

I love the Matthew account even though its all about the guys and the kingly, manly-manly line. God in His sense of humor mentions FIVE women in the Matthew-king line. Can you find them? Each is a story in herself !!!

TAMAR. Remember her? The gal that put on a burka because gals in her day wore burkas to pose as prostitutes. She had been cheated out of her husband. God had snuffed the first two evil husbands. And her father-in-law was reluctant to give her number three she had been sent back home to her father. God blesses her endeavor with twins. Way to go TAMAR. Her father-in-law was guilty in the plot to get rid of their coat of many colors Joseph. Talk about a dysfunctional family. Makes for very interesting reading. What must her life have been like? Almost burned to death for being pregnant out of wedlock until she produced her father-in-law's items she had secured in lieu of payment for services rendered. Not what we teach our daughters in how to get a man. But, then the men in her life had been so evil that God had killed them Himself. Those twins were her retirement benefits. See Genesis 38

RAHAB and RUTH When we think Ruth, we know the story of Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi as in the Old Testament book of Ruth. But, Ruth remarries Boaz and becomes the great-grandmother of King David. Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth were not Jews by birth. Rahab is from the Jericho story. She harbors the spies, and is given safe passage before the walls come tumbling down. Each of their stories speak of courage, faith, going against the politically correct. Each are used by God. Their stories are not dry, but rich and full of passion and emotion.

URIAH's wife. The fourth woman mentioned in the Matthew genealogy is not mentioned by her name, Bathsheba, but as Uriah's wife---the brave, faithful soldier King David had murdered so that he could take Bathsheba as one of his wives. The prophet Nathan has to remind David that nothing is hidden from God's eyes. When David gets bathing beauty Bathsheba pregnant, when he should have been out fighting wars, his manupulating of events does not work when he tries to get Uriah to sleep with his own wife and pass off his kid as Uriah's. DAvid and Bathsheba will lose this baby, and David mourns mightily. But, through two of their four sons, Solomon and Nathan, will come the lines of Joseph and Mary.

And last but not least, Mary is mentioned in this Matthew account. Don't you just love God's sense of humor?

The Luke account should go first chronologically, for it goes back to Adam in a curious way---"...the son of Adam, the son of God." Jesus is the Son of God. He preserved the true humanity through the Genesis 6 attack, and through satan's attempt for some four thousand years to destroy this special line of the Promised Messiah. Even after Jesus is born in Bethlehem, satan tries to kill the baby through king Herod's slaughter of the babies two years old and under. And Joseph is warned in a dream to flee to Egypt and stay there until it is safe.

Next time, let's look at God's sense of humor in the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. What do we learn from Luke chapters one and two? Don't argue with Gabriel. And how to woo a woman without words. John the Baptizer's father is struck speechless for over nine months. Maybe he wrote Elizabeth an account for her to read. Maybe he was good at sign language or gestures. This same angel appears to Mary, but she is not struck dumb. How come? She questions, how can this be? And Gabriel tells her that her cousin, Elizabeth is pregnant---six months along, even. And so Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. God gives Elizabeth her cousin Mary to talk to for a few months. And wow--the greeting speeches via the Holy Spirit, and leaping baby John in that story ! Don't worry, Zachariah gets to give a Holy Spirit inspired speech, too, on the eighth day after John is born.

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