Wednesday, December 17, 2014
“Nobody was born selfless, No one was born charitable. None of us comes to these things by nature but only by conversion.”
"If conversion to Christianity makes no improvement in a man's outward actions – if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before – then I think we must suspect that his "conversion" was largely imaginary." ~ C.S. Lewis
Gospel Text: (MT 1:1-17)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
A family of liars, adulterers, murderers, fornicators, connivers, and blasphemers. What a miserable lot! And yet the most famous member of this family tree isn’t known for some heinous crime. Quite the opposite, in fact. He is God become man.
Why do you think God chose such a rogues’ gallery of ancestors for his Son? Is this the best he could come up with? In a sense, yes! No matter how good any family may look on paper, they are still fallen, imperfect human beings.
Centuries of biblical history have shown us that God doesn’t usually choose the bravest or the strongest or even the holiest people to fulfill his plan. He chooses ordinary, sinful people. And so Jesus was born into an imperfect line—but a line that was made holy by God’s grace. God can work with anything. In fact, it delights him to fill us, cracked and leaky vessels though we are, with his overflowing love.
Do you feel unworthy of being part of God’s plan? You’re right: you are! We all are. However spotty our personal history or family tree, it doesn’t keep the Lord from offering us a new identity as his sons and daughters. Everyone who is baptized into Christ is grafted into a spotless lineage.
God redeemed a line of misfits and miscreants with his power. And he used this family as an important part of his plan. Even so, he is ready to do the same for you. You are more than able to bring Christ into the world, just as David, Solomon, Moses, and all the others did.
You are part of a royal line, and nothing is impossible for God!
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 6:22 AM