Monday, March 1
Scripture: Numbers 1-2, Matthew 1
Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus includes the names of four women—very unusual in genealogies in a patriarchal society. Matthew was weaving into the genealogy the good news that Jesus came for everyone! Here are the four women who became part of the lineage of Judah—the promised line of the Messiah:
- Tamar (Genesis 38). Tamar was the unfortunate woman married to Judah’s son, Er. When Er sinned and died, she was given as wife to his younger brother, Onan, who was also wicked and struck down by the Lord. Judah promised to give her to his youngest son Shelah when he came of age, but didn’t do it. So Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and Judah slept with her and she became pregnant, and so became part of the lineage of Judah.
- Rahab (Joshua 2). Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute that lived in Jericho and hid the Jewish spies. Her life and her family was spared when Jericho was conquered and destroyed, and she ended up marrying a Jewish man and becoming part of lineage of Judah.
- Ruth (Ruth 1-4). Ruth was a Moabite woman who married a Jewish exile, and when he died, she returned to Israel with her mother-in-law and eventually married another Jewish man, Boaz, and became part of the lineage of Judah.
- Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). Bathsheba was married to Uriah the Hittite, one of David’s mighty men. While Uriah was away in battle, David seduced her and she became pregnant. David tried to cover his sin by bringing Uriah home, and when that didn’t work, having him killed and taking Bathsheba as his wife. Eventually she gave birth to Solomon, and became part of the lineage of Judah.
Each woman was either involved in sexual sin or was a foreigner, or both. Jesus had Gentiles and sinners in his lineage—and He came for them, for Gentiles as well as Jews, for sinners as well as saints, for women as well as men. Everyone!
Today, when I’m tempted to write someone off as a lost cause, too far gone, unworthy, or unwanted…I will remember these four women and that Jesus came for everyone, even “the other” that I want to avoid.
Move toward the other with the good news that Jesus is for them too!
Prayer: Lord, I confess that I can be judgmental and exclusive. Forgive me, and give me Your heart for the world, for everyone, including “the other” that I’d rather overlook.