The Family of Christ – Matthew 1:1-17
Take a moment and read the passage Matthew from your bible.
Let’s be honest, some of you opened the Bible, saw the passage and closed your Bible without even reading it! Some of you didn’t even open your Bibles. Well, that’s okay. No one but Biblical scholars, Preachers and Rabbis read this section of the new testament anyway. The names are long and hard to pronounce, and the list isn’t really that important anyway…Right?
Wrong. This list, this Family Tree of Jesus, though likely shortened and altered over time, does something more than tie Jesus to the Priesthood of God. This short family history puts Jesus into context. It reminds us that he was part of a family. He didn’t just show up out of the blue. Jesus was flesh and blood.
His family reunions likely included cousins, uncles, aunts and brothers. It included his grandfather, Jacob, who told stories about his own father, Matthan. They passed the pita bread and humus and played Euchre. There was probably a crazy uncle Akiva, who everyone avoided whenever possible. One relative, married into the family of course, was talked about with disdain. Eyes rolled as he took a seat at the table and started telling loud, obnoxious jokes. I’m also sure when Jesus was young he sat at the kids’ table with the rest of the cousins and dreamed of sitting at the “big people’s table” one day when he was older.
We get it, don’t we? We understand family and the complexities that come along with it. This generational list reminds us that Jesus is more like us than we ever dreamed. It reminds us that even though he was the Hope of the World, he was also a part of the world, connected to it in a real and meaningful, and sometimes painful way.
As you prepare your heart through the Season of Advent, remember that Jesus was both holy and human. He was heaven sent and earth connected. He was God and Man. He understood the pain of life, the frailty of the body, and the deep love and dysfunction of family. You experience it and so do I. And Jesus experienced it, too.
Dearest Lord Jesus,
Give us patience this season as we spend time with family. Remind us daily that you know each of our family members by name and love them as you love me. You love them as you love your own family.
Help us to love them with the same grace and peace.