“Abraham and David were linked with 14 generations, 14 generations link David to the Babylonian exile, and 14 more take us from the exile to the birth of the Anointed.” Matthew 1:17 (VOICE)
“Happy Birthday to You, “ we all sang traditionally, “Happy Birthday to You!”
“Happy Birthday, dear Jesus …” the inevitable smiles all around the table appeared at the sound of His name, “Happy Birthday to Yooooouuuuuu!”
It’s a Christmas tradition that will outlast all of the others, because the underlying purpose of Christmas lives on in the holiday’s name.
Today’s verse has a lot to say about names. 14 times threes generations full of names, to be exact, to trace the line of fulfilled prophecies to Jesus’ birth. Throughout the seemingly boring list of names, are stories of damaged people. Hallmarks of faith, that God choose to fix and realign ..to snatch up and push forward …to extend grace after grave mistakes. Adulterers, harlots …Jesus’ geneology does not consist of a list of angelic and sinless followers of God.
Jesus’ family line represents God’s grace. Heartbreak even from David, after God’s own heart. If we stop to extract the way God used each broken and bent life in Jesus’ line, we can begin to see our reflection in their stories.
There doesn’t need to be an updated version of stories that reflect on humanity …because it’s all in the Bible. The more we read it, the more we are gripped by the magnitude of close proximity their lives touch ours through spans of centuries.
As we sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus each year, maybe it would do us good to pick a name off of His family tree to get to know over the next year. Who could we have the privilege of getting to know a little more? Whoever we pick, we’re assured that as we learn more about their character …we’ll learn more about His. After all, their family.
Father, Praise You for JESUS! Thank You for the depth and intent You placed in His family line and then inspired Matthew to write it down for us to trace. Forgive us for searching for who we are anywhere else in than in Your Word. As followers of Christ, we are adopted family. Bless us to thirst for knowledge about who we are in You …and because of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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