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  • Writer's pictureLou Hernández

10=12-23 - THE GENESIS OF HOPE - Matt. 1:1-11

MESSAGE BY PASTOR DANIEL PARK FROM

BETHANY BAPTIST IN RICHMOND, BC.


Lou's Personal Quote: Let's Pray: Father God we bow before you asking humbly to hear our prayer for our dear friends and family who are suffering with hard times in their health. You know them by name as your children oh, Father God embrace them with your love and allow them to get well as we know you are God of second and third chances, so they can be a live testimony of your grace, Father God we pray for: GP, NR, TG, M HM, SC, Sv, CH, MD. LN, Also, we pray for the Leaders of those countries who are at war give them wisdom to find a way in finish this devastation with death, hunger and grieve, protect our brothers and sisters give them strength not to lose their faith in you, we pray for the children who are suffering from pain and fear in not understanding and knowing why this is happening. We pray in the name of your beloved son Jesus Christ our Lord of Lords and King of Kings. AMEN!


Today’s message is the first of 2 that together I like to call, the Genesis of Jesus, covering the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17.


What does that mean?

  • I tested the title on someone and she said 

  • “At first I thought, Jesus has always been, he has no genesis.”

  • Absolutely true - John 1, In the Beginning, Jesus already was.

  • Matthew 1:1-17 is the genesis of Jesus because 

  • The word for genealogy in verse 1 in the Greek is, “Genesis”

  • The same word used for the book of Genesis in the Greek translation of the OT, the Septuagint 

  • Meaning “Origin”


The passage is not the Genesis or origin of Jesus because Jesus’ existence began at His birth in Bethlehem 

  • The genealogy is the origin of Jesus because it reveals WHO Jesus came as, and what He came to do

  • And that will reveal the full extent of grace and salvation for humanity


The Genesis of Jesus, as outlined in this genealogy, goes all the way back to the Book of Genesis.


The genealogy of Jesus is the origin of the revelation of Jesus to all peoples of the earth as the Christ, the Son of David, and the Son of Abraham. 


I’m sure a lot of people would not expect the genealogy of Jesus to be interesting, but I hope to disprove that today… 

  • There is actually a lot of interesting insights here and I am glad I got to study and preach from this passage!


   First let’s look at the overall structure 

The passage is very conveniently divided into 3 parts with each part bracketed by identifying people and 1 event.

  • The 3 parts are themselves bracketed by 2 verses that act as summaries. 

  • As you can see on the screen.


The genealogy shows the generations of Jesus Christ from Abraham to David, David to the deportation to Babylon, and the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ. 

  • This 3-part structure is summarised in verse 1, giving Jesus the titles of Christ, the son of David, and the son of Abraham. 


We begin from the 3rd title, “the son of Abraham.”


  1. From the Beginning


Abraham, or as we learn in Sunday School - Father Abraham as he is affectionately known, is the Original Founding Father of the people of Israel and Judah, and now more broadly, the people of God

  • Abraham is the origin of the identity for the Jews

  • A nation called and set apart by God through a special covenant

  • Genesis 12:2-3 (NLT)

  • 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.

  • Genesis 22:18 (NLT)

  • And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me."

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob


So the genealogy begins with the familiar 3 names, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

  • and on to more names that you may or may not recognise depending on how much of a Bible nerd you are

  • First sons who become the father of their first sons


BUT, smack in the middle of the names of their founding FATHERS, we have some names and people who do not seem to belong… 

  • We have 3 wives, or rather women mentioned right at the beginning of the genealogy

  • 1 is technically not a wife… 

  • We also have the wife of Uriah in the 2nd part who is not named

  • But in this first paragraph, the 3 women are named 

  • Tamar for Judah

  • Who was not actually Judah’s wife

  • We’ll come back to this

  • Rahab, the wife of Salmon

  • Ruth, the wife of Boaz


There are a few SHOCKING things about this

  1. All 4 women were gentiles

  • Foreigners who the Jews believed to be outside of God’s calling


The inclusion of these women - I would even say the way the genealogy SPOT LIGHTS these women was not a coincidence 


Michael Wilkins, a NT theologian wrote:


  • These women each represent a crucial period in Israel’s history when a Gentile displayed extraordinary faith in contrast to Jews who lacked courage and faith: Tamar versus Judah’s disloyalty, Rahab versus the desert generation’s faithlessness, Ruth versus the unfaithful Israelites at the time of the judges, and Uriah versus David’s sinfulness with Bathsheba. The messianic line was preserved, even through Gentiles, when Israel was unfaithful.


And it proves that God’s covenant of blessing promised to Abraham was never meant exclusively for the Israelites 

  • The Israelites, from Father Abraham, were the people through whom God’s blessing would be imparted to all families and all nations of the earth

  • ALL

  • Covering every person, culture, language, ethnicity, race


This is the picture of true justice and equality


God gave the Israelites the Law, which was meant to lead to them to relationship and faith with Him, but their unfaithfulness to the Law meant they were never able to get to that next stage of relationship through faith 

  • These Gentile-women displayed faith in different ways that should have challenged the Israelites 

  • The women and men like Uriah the Hittite (an officer in David’s army) were never fully accepted as one of “people” 

  • But they heard, or saw God working, and chose to believe and follow. 

  • Giving their lives to live with people who would never accept them, but faithfully committed to obeying and following their God who these gentiles call their own


Tamar, challenged Judah’s life of sin and ungodliness

- Genesis 38:26. Then Judah … said, “She is more righteous than I…

Rehab heard the miracles and wonders and believed in the one behind the miracles.

  • While the Israelites experienced one miraculous deliverance after another, and all the while complained and whined about water, bread, meat

  • Joshua 2:11. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. 


Ruth - was “converted” through her relationship with her mother-in-law into COMMITMENT to the God of her mother-in-law.

  • During a time when the Israelites kept worshipping idols and forgot about their God

  • Ruth 1:16. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 


We are all gentiles, sojourners, and foreigners - though some identify as such more readily than others

  • Some of us weren’t born in the land as most others were

  • Some cannot trace their families in the land beyond 1 or 2 generations 


But we are ALL sojourners because the Bible teaches us that our identity is actually beyond our ethnicity, or national citizenship or language and culture. 

  • We are sojourning in a world outside of Eden

  • Outside of the close intimacy with God who created us 


And from the beginning, ALL of us were already in the grand vision and heart of God


Hope means you have something to look forward to even if you don’t have it yet

  • If at this moment, you do not recognize that you need God, and that He sent Jesus, His son so that you can be with Him

  • Or you know someone in this situation - people who are dear and close to you

  • There is hope

  • If at this time, you know you are a child of God through Jesus, but you are unfairly treated, taken advantage of, cheated, looked down on, mocked, unaccepted 

  • There is hope 


Because God sent us His only begotten Son, Jesus 


Jesus is the starting place and destination of hope 


2. To the Margins 


The 2nd thing that is shocking about the inclusion of the women in the genealogy of Jesus 

  • Is that they are women.

  • That there ARE women in it at all!


Women were never included in genealogies 

  • The lineage continued through the males as it is very clear in the genealogy

  • This was a time and culture where women were considered as property

  • And had very few rights, privileges and chance of respect beyond childbearing 

  • But we have 4 gentiles and they are women! 


Michael Wilkins, who I quoted earlier says,

  • … by including these unexpected names in the messianic genealogy, Matthew shows that God can use anyone — however marginalized or despised — to bring about his purposes.


For whatever reason, being a woman was far from being pleasant or nice. 

  • And we see it in the stories of the 4 women in today’s passage.

  • They suffered and could have suffered worse while being at the mercy of others

  • Especially men who had all the power at the time 


Now might be a good time to go over their stories in a little more detail: 


Tamar

  • If you remember or read Genesis 38, Tamar was the wife of Judah’s first son, Er

  • While it is not explicit, she was most probably a Canaanite seeing as Judah had already married a Canaanite and he chose Tamar as a wife for his first son

  • Long story short, Tamar is cheated out of an opportunity of becoming a mother by Judah

  • And Tamar takes things into her own hands and maneuvers a situation where Judah sleeps with  Tamar thinking she is a prostitute and she conceives 

  • Genesis 38:26 (ESV) Then Judah … said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.


Rahab (Joshua 6:25)

  • Was a prostitute in Jericho who chose to believe the Israelite’s God and help the spies Joshua sent to Jericho


Ruth

  • Should be the most well-known woman here

  • Has a whole book of the OT devoted to her

  • A Moabite woman who married into the house of Judah twice

  • WHICH should not have been allowed…

  • Deuteronomy 23:3 says,

  • “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.


The wife of Uriah - Bathsheba 

  • King David commits adultery with the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a soldier in David’s army, then has Uriah killed while in battle and takes Bathsheba as his wife.

It would be easy to hear their story and take a certain stance or view and call them by a narrow-faceted label.

  • Prostitute

  • Widow

  • Adulterer 


Some might use the more crass or demeaning versions of the above 

  • Also notice the labels or names and life-situations are actually from the male perspective or male-dependent 


But each of those labels or names hides a lifetime of tragedy and suffering 

- Unavoidable and forced-dependence on others who are literally lords over them 

Bathsheba

Thinking about Bathsheba…

  • I have heard and read of the possibility or probability that what happened between David and Bathsheba was consensual, meaning Bathsheba was not taken advantage of

  • But I think that’s a dismissive generalization not taking into account a few things:

  • A couple who is in a foreign land, 

  • the man who is a lower officer in the King’s army

  • The King comes to the woman and wants to sleep with her

  • At that point, consent is probably a very grey concept… 

  • Remember, wives were literally thought of as property 

  • King David literally has the power to order the commander of his army to get Bathsheba’s husband killed and no one bats an eyelid  

  • Modern law recognizes the concept of duress and that some people are forced to do things against their will even if at the absence of actual threats.


This isn’t just my opinion though, 14 generations back

  • In Genesis 12 and 20

  • When Abraham convinces his wife to be part of his lie to the king of the foreign land they are in

  • Abraham lies that Sarah his wife, was his sister for personal gain

  • Could you not also say this was consensual? 

  • But what did God think about this?

  • Genesis 12:15-17.


  • 15 When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh, their king, and Sarai was taken into his palace. 16 Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her—sheep, goats, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. 17 But the Lord sent terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.


  • Genesis 20:1-5

  • 1 Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, 2 Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. 3 But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!” 4 But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”

  • Even though there was technically consent, God clearly found the kings at fault 

  • And in Abraham’s action as well


The inclusion of these women are case studies in the sinfulness and wickedness of humanity

  • With all the difficulty the women had to endure

  • The injustices

  • The powerlessness 

  • While being a gentile that Israelites came to look down on 

Sarah

The spotlight on these women in the genealogy of Jesus is hope to all people who are in the margins of society

  • People who lack power, are ignored, looked down on, weak, ignored, lesser abled in different ways and not productive 

  • No matter how insignificant or despised or disrespected, everyone is in God’s plan and heart to abide in His blessing

  • And can be used by God 

  • And is a child of God 


3. For the Sinner


The 3rd and last shocking thing about the inclusion of the 4 women in the genealogy are the scandals surrounding the women.


Tamar pretended she was a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law and had 2 babies 


Rehab was a prostitute 


Ruth was a widower and seems safe, but some have suggested that she seduced a man to get married


Bathsheba committed adultery - some suggesting consensually, some even that she outright seduced David .


As I mentioned before, it’s never that simple and also unfair to judge and label people in that way 

  • I would even say “unjust”


Truth is, in each case, the women are never portrayed as the sinner in the Bible

  • Between Tamar and Judah, Judah declares Tamar more righteous than he 

  • David is confronted for his adultery by God.


I am not saying that those actions or lifestyle are ok, or even justified 

- Nor that God is being a hypocrite and are condoning sin in a few 


But the inclusion of these women are case studies in the sinfulness and wickedness of humanity

  • And yet, in spite of that, God does everything necessary to ensure salvation 

  • This is amazing grace 

  • This is unfailing love 

  • This is the genesis of hope


God’s grace and love is evident throughout the sin-filled history of the people of Israel 

  • Structurally, the 2nd sentence of verse 6 to verse 11 is the most important part of the genealogy 

  • The genealogy of kings, starting with the greatest - King David

  • But as we just talked about, David, the greatest king in the history of Israel and described as a man after God’s own heart

  • Was also a very flawed and sinful man 


Verse 6-11 lists 15 kings

  • The interesting thing is that the kings listed alternate between good and bad

  • The blue kings are ones generally introduced as good, who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done.”

  • And the green kings are ones declared bad and who “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.


The only pattern is that the good and evil kings are both almost equally represented


But as David’s introduction alludes to, even the good kings were never completely good

  • And King David - the greatest among them is set up as an example of this fact.

  • David is the 4th person in the genealogy whose wife is mentioned

  • And I would say in the most shameful light (on David, not the wife).

  • David, while revered as the greatest King, is the only one to have his shame mentioned in the genealogy

  • among the kings

  • The father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.

  • Meaning - By Adultery and Murder 


Sin does not hinder God 

  • Sin does hinder us though, from God 

  • I think a lot of people have the misconception that sin is something that drives God away from us - and keeps Him away from us

  • Nothing is further from the truth


God sent His son to die for us while we were still sinners and ignorant of God


The genealogy of Jesus shows us clearly that sin has no power here

  • God loves sinners

  • And He is all about SAVING sinners

  • Rescuing people from the consequences of sin 


Your sins are not keeping God away nor does it make God hate you or abandon you

  • Your sins are keeping YOU away from God 

  • I’m not saying this to condemn you, but to give you hope

  • Because God has already given His son Jesus and broken down ANY walls and barriers that could separate us from God 

  • All we need is Jesus, who reconnects us to God

  • Our sins is a chasm between us and God, but Jesus, in His death and resurrection bridges that chasm to deliver us into the loving family of God. 






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