Reading

  • Matt. 1:1-17
  • Luke 3:23b-38

Devotional

Today's reading is a listing of the family lineage of Jesus. Matthew records the ancestry from Joseph's perspective (Jesus' earthly father), whereas Luke apparently records it from Mary's perspective (Jesus' mother). There are several righteous people among Jesus' forefathers, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz (husband of Ruth), David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Joseph. But there are also some surprises listed in that family tree as well, including Rahab, the harlot from Jericho, Bathsheba, the woman who was married to Uriah whom David had murdered, and Manasseh, the king of Judah who brought GOD's final judgment of captivity upon his people because of his wickedness.

We need to be careful not to make too much of this, for no family is perfect, but it is possible that we can see a glimpse into the heart of GOD in that Jesus would be born into the world in a family that had some people who we look back on and recognize primarily for their sin. Whether the genealogy of Jesus is intended to convey this or not, the truth is that GOD doesn't expect us to be perfect. In fact, just the opposite—He knows we've messed up and that we'll make more mistakes so long as we continue living on earth.

It also shows us that GOD is able to use both righteous and the wicked to bring about His purpose, which, in this case, was His own coming to earth in human form. You should never think that you are too bad or have done too much wrong for GOD to use you for His purpose. Even though people sin, GOD is well able to forgive us if we repent and come to Him through Jesus.

Virtually every family has people who have done well and lifted up the family name and reputation within their community, and likewise, we've all got those family members who have done the opposite and disgraced, ruined or destroyed the family name and reputation. That's how evil works in the hearts of men, tempting us to sin against GOD. We can't control what our family members decide to do or how they live their life. We can only control ours. What we can do for our family, though, is encourage them to do what's right and live holy lives.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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