Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Women in the Line of Christ

Have you ever wondered about the four women other than Mary, mentioned in Christ's lineage in Matthew 1? Two of them were prostitutes, one was a Moabitess, and the other was an adulteress. When we consider these four women in the line of Jesus, we should never doubt that God can use anyone regardless of their past!

First, there was Tamar whom we read about in Genesis 38. She became a childless widow after she married Judah's oldest son and he passed away.
Judah, her father-in-law, did not keep his promise to find her a replacement husband by giving her to his second son, so she took matters into her own hand and "played the harlot" with her own father-in-law! In due time, she bore twin sons, Perez and Zerah. Through the family line of Perez, we have our Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Joshua chapters two and six, we read of Rahab who hid the spies. She was not only a harlot, but also was not Jewish. She saved her whole family when the wall of Jericho fell, and she became the wife of Salmon and their son was Boaz, which brings us to Boaz's wife, Ruth. She came from the land of Moab whose people descended from the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughter. She was not one of the chosen people through birth, but was grafted in when she proclaimed that she would follow the true God of Israel. We read her remarkable account in the book which bears her name. She became a widow when her husband, Naomi's son died and followed her mother-in-law, back to Israel and became a part of God's chosen people.

And finally, we come to Bathsheba. Perhaps we all know this account in II Samuel chapters 11-12. Here we see King David lusting after a woman who was another man's wife. Their immoral relationship brought about the birth of a child that died as God's judgment was upon them. But, God was gracious and later gave them Solomon from whose line, Christ came.

Who would've thought that Christ would have such "mothers?" We are tempted to dismiss such women as too tainted by sin to be much of anything. How often in society, these women are shunned or their children are looked down on. This in no way excuses their sin, for the Bible is clear regarding purity. Yet, we must remember that Christ came to bring forgiveness and cleansing to even the most vile.

For we read Christ's own words in Matthew 18:11, "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost." No one is too far gone for Him!

Are you feeling lost? Do you feel your past is tainted with some sin too ugly to imagine Christ forgiving you? Then, look at those whom He included in His own family! Surely, there is a message of forgiveness and redemption to be found here. Will you trust Him, the babe in the manger with all of your past, sins and all? He is waiting for you!

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