Recently, a family member on my husband’s side, took on the task of researching the beginnings of their family. There is currently a TV series, “1923, * which follows the lineage of the Dutton Family, from another TV series called, “1883,” from another TV series called, “Yellowstone.” We sometimes get hung up on wanting to know about our lineage. However, we might become surprised at what turns up. The family tree most definitely is filled with a few nuts, some squirrels, roots that stretch to many parts of the earth, occasionally some lovely birds, but always a lot of interesting information. Jesus’ ancestry is printed out for us in the Bible. Our God wants us to see that Jesus, His only begotten Son, came from a long line of people – some who weren’t ones you’d like to brag about. This lineage shows that Jesus was human, just like you and me, but He was also conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, therefore He was both God and man. Going back to Adam and Eve and God’s covenant to send a Redeemer, we can see how all the pieces of this interesting history fit together to reveal the truth that Jesus was born to save the world.
There were murderers, adulterers, swindlers, liars, the evil and brutal men and women who would be considered the dregs of society. Jesus was not a sinner, because He held the blood of God in his veins. He was a real human being too, with the same problems that faced many of his friends and family members. You can do the research yourself, by reading Luke 3:23-38. We start with Adam and Eve. There were those who had no involvement in the Jewish faith. Ruth married into it when she became Mrs. Boaz. Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba were all women of questionable character. Ruth and Rahab were Gentiles who became part of the family tree. There are many heroes of the Bible, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, along with Joseph, the dreamer, who spent time in prison for being falsely accused of rape. King David was the apple of God’s eye, yet his sins included adultery, lies, coverups, espionage and murder. Even with all those sins, He regained favor in God’s eyes through repentance. David was the warrior king. It was a king like that which the Jews longed for in Jesus’ lifetime, to defeat their enemies.
This long line of begats and begottens is clear evidence that Jesus was the legal heir to the covenant promise associated with David’s throne. Both Mary and Joseph could trace their heritage back to King David and even though Joseph was not the father of Jesus, his genealogy seals the promise doubly. When they went to register for the census, they went to Bethlehem, the birthplace of David. The truth of these genealogies is part of the Jewish culture. They were meticulous at keeping birth and death records over the course of time.
The unique mixture of people can pop up in our own ancestry. There are often a few skeletons in the closet, and it was no different in Jesus’ bloodline. This defines His humanity. His relatives were often ordinary, unexceptional people, who would bring forth the most exceptional human being to walk the earth. Yet His blood was fused with God the Father. What a mystery, yet what lovely truth. God uses everyone for a purpose in His already mapped out plan for humanity.
Our DNA holds clues to who we are and where we came from. Those elements played a part in Jesus’ makeup as well. He saw poverty and wept for those who had no food. He even provided meals at times. He struggled as he watched families around him scrounging to make ends meet, yet all He could do was comfort them. He grew angry when He saw how the church had been corrupted and He wept when His friend died. The Old Testament is filled with prophesy regarding the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled them. He was a man of sorrows, having no place to rest His head. He was abused, rebuked, bullied, smitten and afflicted. His hands and feet would be pierced. He would be betrayed and rejected by His closest followers. He saved the world from the grip of sin and death. He was born to one purpose – a man, yes, but also God in every way.
OH COME, OH COME IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US!