By, Isam Itson III
Matthew 1:16 and 17 “…and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.”
What can we learn from a list of names? The list of names in Matthew chapter 1 tells a follower of God in Jesus Christ that in spite of our faithlessness, our creator God is faithful. From the birth of his chosen people in Abraham, to the glory of David’s kingdom, to the exile in Babylon and upon the return from exile under the rule of pagan kings and emperors, every man and woman named in Jesus’ genealogy was just like us.
Some were completely faithless, and even the most faithful sinned horribly at times. Even though they were far from perfect God was faithful. He honored his role as our creator and fulfilled his promise to Abraham and David. He sent his perfect son, the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, into the world, through his chosen people Israel, when neither his people, nor the world at large, were worthy.
The second thing we learn is that God does not do everything we want him to do when we want him to do it. God calls us to love him and honor his love for others. While God is helping us do his work, God is working toward the fulfillment of his purpose for everything and everyone across all of time past and until the end of time.
Except for Mary, every person Matthew listed in his record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ died before Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. They lived and died waiting for God to fulfill his promise to humanity in Genesis 3, to Abraham in Genesis 12, and to David in 2 Samuel 7. God moved toward the fulfillment of his promise over the course of thousands of years from our Fall from grace in the Garden in Eden until the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem toward the end of the reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus.
Some of the people listed in the genealogy lived during relatively peaceful and prosperous times. Others lived through the shame, pain, and disappointment of slavery, social decay, exile, and foreign occupation. God calls all of his people through all times to love him and honor his love for others no matter the temporary impact on their social status or material profit.
So what does that mean for followers of Jesus Christ today? In his time and his way, God glorifies himself through his children. His power and faithfulness is displayed through our helplessness and weakness. Whatever we achieve, whatever we suffer, no matter how far we fall, no matter how weak we are, we do not ever need to be ashamed, or afraid of loss, or falling beyond the reach of God ‘s saving grace. God has made us to glorify him and fulfill his purpose.
God’s power is perfected in our weakness, because it shows that God is in charge and we are not. God does not care about how much money we have, where we live, or what family we belong to. He wants us to trust him no matter our material or social circumstances. And when we are at our lowest
God’s glory shines the brightest. So no matter what, we look to God and thank Him for creating us, and choosing us, and saving us. God’s loyal and faithful love frees us to follow God into the world, helping other followers of God in Jesus Christ. And if we lose everything and everyone, our lives are safe with God in Jesus Christ forever. God is faithful.
1. What you are afraid to lose or afraid that others will discover about you?
2. Imagine those things, people or habits on full display in front of God.
3.Surrender them to God, bow your knee, and thank God for His mercy in sending Jesus Christ to you in spite of your fear, pride, and faithlessness.