Prayer & Fast – Day 6

JANUARY 8TH, 2022      |      Matthew was a tax-collector turned disciple of Jesus. He was a Jew writing to a Jewish audience. Why is that important? It may explain why Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy. To a Jew, heritage, family line, and this genealogy would have been very important. And yet, what Matthew writes is not at all a genealogy of pedigree but of brokenness. It is a family tree with a lineage of grace.

In reading the opening 17 verses of Matthew you might notice something unusual. Women were mentioned. Not only women but women of questionable status. Tamar seduced her father-in-law, Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth wasn’t even a Jew but a Moabitess, Uriah’s wife Bathsheba was an adulterer, and even Mary, whose character might have been questionable to some Jews of that day. This is a messy lineage as it contains outsiders and outcasts and is marked by trauma (vs 11-12).

Why does Matthew start his gospel this way? As a tax collector, Matthew would have been very unpopular with his fellow Jews. He himself would have been an outsider or an outcast. Following this messy lineage is the account of the birth of Jesus.

Could it be that Matthew is trying to show us that Jesus came for the outsider, for the outcast? Could he be showing us that Jesus came to redeem our own messy lineage? This same broken world He was born into is the same broken world He still loves today. Perhaps your family line is less than reputable or marked by trauma – Jesus came to redeem it! Whatever your present family looks like, remember this, as a child of God you have been placed in a new family. Not a perfect family, but a family of faith, of other outcasts and outsiders rescued, redeemed, and restored by Jesus!

Prayer & Fast – Day 6

Matthew 1

Matthew 1

Matthew was a tax-collector turned disciple of Jesus. He was a Jew writing to a Jewish audience. Why is that important? It may explain why Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy. To a Jew, heritage, family line, and this genealogy would have been very important. And yet, what Matthew writes is not at all a genealogy of pedigree but of brokenness. It is a family tree with a lineage of grace.

In reading the opening 17 verses of Matthew you might notice something unusual. Women were mentioned. Not only women but women of questionable status. Tamar seduced her father-in-law, Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth wasn’t even a Jew but a Moabitess, Uriah’s wife Bathsheba was an adulterer, and even Mary, whose character might have been questionable to some Jews of that day. This is a messy lineage as it contains outsiders and outcasts and is marked by trauma (vs 11-12).

Why does Matthew start his gospel this way? As a tax collector, Matthew would have been very unpopular with his fellow Jews. He himself would have been an outsider or an outcast. Following this messy lineage is the account of the birth of Jesus.

Could it be that Matthew is trying to show us that Jesus came for the outsider, for the outcast? Could he be showing us that Jesus came to redeem our own messy lineage? This same broken world He was born into is the same broken world He still loves today. Perhaps your family line is less than reputable or marked by trauma – Jesus came to redeem it! Whatever your present family looks like, remember this, as a child of God you have been placed in a new family. Not a perfect family, but a family of faith, of other outcasts and outsiders rescued, redeemed, and restored by Jesus!

Responding to the Word

In what ways is the Holy Spirit speaking to You from God’s Word? 

How can you apply this to your life? Take some time to journal your thoughts.

Prayer

Father, thank you for redeeming our lineage with Your grace and giving us a heritage of faith by placing us in Your family. As I think of my own family today, I ask for . . .

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