Matthew 1:1 - The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The book of Matthew starts with an odd choice of subject matter—42 generations of Jesus' genealogy, all the way back to Abraham. Some people find this fascinating. Other people are probably yawning and saying under their breath, "Who cares?"
Apparently, God cares. God cares enough to give us a list of names, most of which you can look up in the Old Testament. Not that that's always an honor! Their ranks include patriarchs and kings, prostitutes and foreigners, adulterers and murderers, and even a man (Manasseh) who offered his own son as a human sacrifice. Eewww!
And then there are the people whose lives have fallen off the radar into total obscurity, like most of the names toward the very end. Their lives didn't get recorded. No longer royalty, Jesus' family was disappearing into the ranks of ordinary people—craftsmen, shopkeepers and farmers, seemingly of no importance to anybody but themselves.
But they were important to God. God kept track of their lives, if nobody else did. God had plans for them. He cared intensely about all of Jesus' ancestors, good and bad alike. And God cares about us as well.
We will never make it into the Bible by name. We may never have our lives chronicled anywhere (except possibly Facebook or Instagram). And yet God sent His Son Jesus for us, to rescue us and make us part of His own family, children of God.
You matter. And if you trust in Jesus, your name has been written in the only place that really matters: Jesus' book of life (Revelation 3:5).
THE PRAYER:Father, thank You for writing our names in the book of life. Let Your Holy Spirit live in us so that everyone can see we belong to Your family. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
Has your name ever appeared in the newspaper or other media? When and why?
Why do you think God allowed evil people to be a part of Jesus' family tree?
Think of a Christian you know who bears a strong family resemblance to Jesus in his or her life and actions. Why do you think so? Describe this person.
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