In the first book of the New Testament, Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus. And in this catalogue of names Matthew lists mostly the fathers in the bunch; after all, he was writing the book to the Jewish people, and theirs was a patriarchal society. But about a quarter of the way down, Matthew tells of three women: Rahab, Ruth, and Uriah’s wife. Or a prostitute, a foreigner and an adulteress. All outcasts.
For a long time I have been fascinated that our benevolent God loved David, a man who we’re told was “after God’s own heart,” but who was also an adulterer and a murderer. Yet God chose to bless David’s family line and bring the Messiah through his offspring.
Not until recently did I see the connection with Rahab, Ruth and Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba). And Matthew putting those three women specifically in the midst of all those men’s names means something to me. Not only did He forgive the prostitute and the adulteress as He forgives all of us sinners, but He wrapped them in His loving arms, blessed their lives and brought His Son from their descendants.
How great is His love and His forgiveness!
Then when His Son, the King of the World, is born in a stinky barn, God sends His angels to tell the good news. And He does not send them to the politicians or the businessmen or the popular; no, He continues His streak of reaching out to the unwanted and tells the lowly shepherds of Jesus’ birth.
I am thankful that Jesus chose to come to Earth through a lineage of ordinary and sinful men and women, to live a life filled with temptation and hardship and grief but remained sinless so that He could be our perfect atoning sacrifice. As the worship leader at my parents’ church once said, I am thankful that “we can relate to Him through His humanity, and that He may relate us to God thru His divinity.”
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette . Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,augustagazette.com.