The Genealogy of Jesus
Have you ever taken the time to research some of the names listed in the genealogies of Jesus that are found in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3? I realize that reading a list of names can be pretty boring and easy to skip over, but seeing some of the people included in Jesus’ ancestry teaches us some wonderful things about the nature and character of God. In Matthew’s genealogy for instance, there are some pretty remarkable names listed. Matthew begins Jesus’ ancestry with Abraham, and includes 14 generations from him to David, 14 generations from David to the Israelite deportation to Babylon, and 14 generations from the exile to Jesus. Out of all the names listed, the one included name that always brings me to marvel at the goodness and sovereignty of God is Ruth. Ruth was a lady who had lost pretty much her whole family, except for her mother-in-law, Naomi. She stood by Naomi to help care for her, and eventually followed her from Ruth’s home of Moab to Bethlehem, where Naomi had distant relatives. Ruth worked hard in the field of a relative in order to provide for Naomi, and eventually found favor in Boaz, the owner of the field she was working in. Boaz eventually married Ruth, and then gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of the great King David. God ordained every step of Ruth’s life, taking her brokenness and despair, and bringing about such good through her situation that she eventually became the great grandmother of David. God worked such good for His chosen people Israel through someone who was not herself born an Israelite. In fact, Ruth was a Moabite, and this inclusion becomes even more powerful when you read how the nation of Moab came into existence in Genesis 19:30-38. Our God is a God who not only patiently puts up with our sin and rebellion, but ultimately brought about our salvation by taking on flesh and dying for our sins. Even in this act, God was a work centuries beforehand, redeeming broken and sinful people, using them as part of the story for how the Messiah would come into the world.