Start: Read Matthew Chapter 1
One Big Mess:
We just read through the genealogy of Jesus Christ according to Matthew as we start this book. I know how quickly I tend to read through texts like this, but I always ask myself why is this text in here.
You could spend weeks, months, and even years unpacking the history in Matthew 1, and if you do, you will find it to be very rich and eye opening to the incredible God that sent Jesus. However, even without spending a huge amount of time pouring over Jesus' ancestry we can notice some huge blotches and blemishes in the family line of this King.
I don't know about everyone in this line, but I do know enough of the stories of these people to know that they were by no means perfect. Abraham's trust in God wasn't always as strong as when he willingly would have sacrifice Isaac. Before that ever happened he tried to take matters into his own hands to make sure that God gave him a son so he could have generations as many as the stars in his family line. His choice there only created pain and suffering.
Jacob wrestled with God, deceived his brother, lied to his father, and was a thief. This list continues with many names I don't know a lot about all the way to a point where idol worship was so severe that God allowed His people to be deported to babylon as slaves. It continues through a line of murder and promiscuity until finally it get's to a point where a man named Joseph is going to be married to a women named Mary and he finds out that she is pregnant and he has nothing to do with it.
So what happens now? Joseph, convinced that he wouldn't be marrying who he assumed to be a promiscuous whore, had a dream. God sent an angel to tell Joseph not to be afraid because Mary has conceived, and the child in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Whoa! Hang on! What we are seeing here is that we have an incredible family history of Jesus that is full of sin, it actually is a complete debacle, or so it appears. Then God says don't be afraid because I have sent one who is going to be human, in this messy line, who is conceived from the Holy Spirit.
So, why is this supposed to help Joseph not be afraid?
Because this baby, this King, is going to be able to empathize with humanity like God could never do because of his perfection. Jesus is God and yet perfectly human like no other human could ever be! Jesus, because of his incredible genealogy of both God and Man, is the reason He, and only He, could be the perfect savior. The perfect high priest to intercede on humanities behalf before a perfect God seated on the throne of Grace.
What I find almost more amazing about this story and chapter that we just read is found in verses 22 & 23. That, "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel' (which means, God with us)."
God had a plan, a perfect plan, that could only be fulfilled by a perfect God Man, to perfectly redeem me, a completely lost, separated from God, sinner; who now through faith in Jesus can be saved by Grace.
What a big messy, perfectly incredible, plan of redemption.
Thank You God