T’was grace that bought us safe thus far…
I’m having a break from reading Ezekiel to read a bit of Matthew. The first time I have ventured into the new testament for years.
Chapter one, first chapter of the new testament. What a moment!!! Sound the trumpets, prepare the feast. The story is not over, its coming to it’s climax! Yes?
Well it is, but the transition is not as dramatic as that, in fact quite the opposite, it’s much more about establishing continuity with the old testament.
I mean, way to start with a genealogy! We’ve already had so many. I’ve found it boring in the past, but after so much reading of the OT I actually found it comforting and rich. So much more so would the original jewish readers.
3 times 14 generations between the pillars of the narrative thus far: Abraham to David, David to exile, exile to Messiah. The only thing I’m missing is a link to exodus… Maybe that will come later.
I remember in genesis saying how the narrative of god’s intervention was the slenderest thread running though so much compromise, murk and cruelty.
Yes! It’s not a story of glorious bloodlines, it’s a story of grace.
You can’t help but notice a few women singled out in the chain of father to father. And what a crew.
Tamah, widowed, rejected and forgotten, had to pose as a prostitute to have a son with her own faithless substitute husband.
Rahab, actually was a prostitute, of Jericho. Chosen by faithful response, not race. That’s a tangential, ironic even, link to exodus!
Ruth, the Moabite, widow, the least likely but faithful responder to grace. Again contradicting a racial interpretation of the chosen people. The outsider, preparing all of us for acceptance into the family of Judah.
Bathsheba, not mentioned by name but singled out to remind us that the noblest part of Jesus’ line, David and Solomon, is mired in a nasty story murder, lust and sin.
So much seeming contradiction. The ultimate perhaps is that the chapter goes on to detail that the last link in the chain, Joseph, is not Jesus’ biological father, the holy spirit is.
The least, the rejected, the weak, the humble, outsiders, sinners, the failures of the powerful. These are God’s power players and power moves in saving the world.
An inheritance of promises and mercy. Of grace.
“Saviour, if of Zion’s city
I, through grace, a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in thy Name:
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.”