Heritage and Horizon
Before Christmas quickly sweeps over you, lay your hopes and fears about this Christmas before God in prayer now.
Read Matthew 1:1-17
 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:  Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,  Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,  Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,  Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,  and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,  Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,  Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,  Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,  Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,  and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.  After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,  Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,  Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud,  Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,  and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do you notice about this genealogy of Jesus?
The genealogy business is booming. Everyone wants to find out more about where they come from and why. Perhaps they hope to find heroes or fear finding villains. Perhaps they’re seeking clues or inspiration for their own lives. I think Matthew traced Jesus’ genealogy for similar reasons. Through it we learn that God’s purpose runs throughout the ages. As we celebrate Christmas, we remember that God’s purpose was present even in the beginning, that it passed from Abraham to Jesus, and that it has now passed on to and embraced us. It also tells us that neither our own sin nor a broken heritage need rule us out of God’s purpose. Despite illegitimacy (Tamar), prostitution (Rahab), adultery (David) and being outside God’s people (Ruth), God builds straight and true even with crooked timber. Christmas may remind us that family can be a place of brokenness as much as blessing. Be encouraged that Jesus’ genealogy reveals the same thing, yet God’s eternal purpose was not derailed; nor need it be in your life. Your heritage need not dictate your horizon. God does.
To what extent might you have allowed your sin or your heritage to rule you out of God’s purpose?
Lord, I’m grateful that nothing can come between me and Your unfailing love. Help me fulfill Your purpose for me.
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