Sunday, December 11, 2016

Jesus the Christ

The Third Sunday of Advent
The book of the genealogy* of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

Thus begins the Gospel According to Matthew.  Matthew found it imperative to establish the bona fides of Jesus.  Genealogy or where one came from was a very important matter in Jewish society of Jesus's day.

We find here the lineage of Jesus back to Abraham and the establishment of God's people.  A man could not have a more Hebraic background.  Yet it is interesting to look at some of the people in this catalog of ancestors.  Abraham as we know was a servant and follower of God yet he was not above the practice of deception.  Jacob, his grandson, was a deceiver who swindled his brother of his birthright and fooled his father into passing the blessing and inheritance which should have been Esau's under the rules of primogeniture.  
In addition to Mary there are four women specifically mentioned which was unusual.  Note that all the progenitors named are male except for these four.
  1. Tamar who deceived her father-in-law into impregnating her by playing the role of a harlot.  Her son Perez then was an ancestor of Jesus.
  2. Rahab was a resident of Jerico who gained her livelihood by working in the world's oldest profession.  Her son Boaz is also an ancestor of Jesus.
  3. Ruth married Boaz and of her was born Jesse who became the father of King David.  But Ruth was not an Hebrew.  She was a Moabite, an alien so far as the people were concerned.
  4.  Bathsheba seduced King David and they together engaged in adultery.  She bore Solomon, forebear of Jesus.  David conspired to murder Bathsheba's husband.
  5. Mary the mother of Jesus.
We have touched on only a few of the weaknesses and sins represented in this list.  What is the point we are making?  Simply this:   Jesus came from sinners; Jesus came for sinners.

The lurid and unseemly behaviors of his progenitors are no worse than the behaviors of all sinners.  And we are all sinners.  But God will forgive our transgressions through the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  He died for me.  And for you and the sinners of the world.

 *Note that this is the genealogy of Joseph the husband of Mary.  The scripture says Jesus was born of Mary and that Joseph was her husband.  Study of the account assures us that Jesus was born of Mary but begotten of God.  So what does Joseph's genealogy have to do with anything?  By adoption Jesus was the son of Joseph, a relationship not to be denigrated for by adoption those who accept Jesus Christ are the children of God!

 First Sunday of Advent Wreath

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