Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Genealogy and Birth of Christ

From the readings and questions this week
While reading through the genealogy of Jesus, I also read through some of the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Uriah's wife (Bathsheba), the four OT women who are mentioned by Matthew in the legal ancestry of Jesus. Their expressins of faith in action were a challenge to me. I can list a few big events in my life when I acted in faith in God, but do I really show faith in the little actions and decisions? I suppose I do in the things I talk about with my kids, the truths that I know about God. But what about my actions? I think I should be looking out for opportunities to act faithfully over the coming days and weeks.

1. Matt 1:1-17: Born to be King
Genealogies, which showed a person's lineage or pedigree, were crucial in Jesus' time to establish a person's right to the status they claimed within the Jewish people (eg priests descended from Aaron). Matthew organised the genealogy into three sections to help his readers remember and understand it. It is not a complete record but his audience would have considered it to be valid. Of the five women mentioned, the first four would ordinarily have been considered to be ineligible for membership of God's people, eg Ruth was a Moabitess and Bathsheba was married to a Hittite. Mary, in contrast, was a Jewess of impeccable heritage, descended from Nathan, one of Solomon's brothers.
: God chooses unlikely people for His purposes.
Q How has God brought me to this place?
> Recognise and thank Him for His love, grace and mercy.
> He will give faith, strength and power to do His will.

2. Matt 1:18-20: Miracle birth
God's choice of Mary as the mother of the Son of God was a privelege, but it cannot have been easy.
:God often uses difficult circumstances to accomplish His will.
> His will for my life is to make me more like Christ. He wants me to let others know about God's Son. He wants to show me His love and grace.

3. Matt 1:21-25 What's in a name?
Names are special. In the Bible, we read of God revealing Himself with each new name that He shares or that is ascribed to Him. The names of Jesus are also important.
Jesus = His human name.
Christ = His religious title.
Immanuel = Who He is: God with us; God in the world, with His people.
From the names given to Him we see that
: Jesus is all I need.
> In the face of eternity we will rejoice in this.
Q Do I thank God every day for His revelation of Jesus Christ as King? Not as often as I ought.
Q Do I let Him be with me?

Jesus is qualified to be King of my life by His ancestry, birth and identity.

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