Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Scandalous!




Mary was about 15 years old when she discovered she would be carrying the baby Jesus.  She was unmarried.  Her fiance was an older man, as was custom back in those days.  It was simply scandalous to marry someone who wasn't a virgin.  So there was Joseph, one day finding himself engaged to a pregnant girl he had never slept with. I’ll bet if his father was alive he had something to say about that!

But she WAS a virgin.  Jesus was the Son of God and the son of Mary.  Divine and human.  How is this possible?  It isn't.  Yet it IS, because God can do anything.  Why on earth would God choose this situation to use to bring His glorious, precious Son into this world? Why would Jesus willingly leave His home in heaven to come to earth?

The most relevant equivalent I can think of would be someone like Bill Gates choosing to give up all his possessions, power, family privilege, everything, to go live in the ghetto somewhere, completely homeless.  Times a million.

So why?  I'll share my theory in a moment.

First, I want to take a look at the family blood line of Jesus.  In Matthew 1:1-6, we read:
"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron....
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife...

There's obviously more, but I selected these parts of these 6 verses and wanted to point out the few names I have in italics. 

Jacob:  was a thief and a liar.  He stole his older twin brother's birthright and blessing.  (Genesis chapters 25-27)
Judah and Tamar:   Judah failed to have his youngest son marry Tamar after his eldest son died, as was tradition back then.  (The brother of a widow's husband married her.)  So Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and slept with Judah (her father-in-law). (Genesis 38)
Rahab:  was a prostitute. (Joshua 2)
King David, (whom God called the apple of His eye) and the woman who had been Uriah's wife:  The woman was Bathsheba.  David saw her one day, bathing on the roof, and he lusted after her. He wanted to have an affair with her.  So he did.  Bathsheba got pregnant, and to cover up his sin, David sent her husband, Uriah, out to battle, in the front lines, so he would be killed.  Their first baby died, but then they went on to have Solomon. (2 Samuel 11 and 12)

Does this sound like the pedigree of the Savior of the World?  So why on earth are these people in the royal lineage of Jesus?

I believe it is because we are ALL flawed human beings, and sin is sin is sin to God.  It doesn't matter if you lie, cheat, steal or kill. It's all the same to God:  it is sin.  The only logical conclusion is that there would HAVE to be sinners in the lineage of Jesus.

So why HIGHLIGHT them?  I believe it's the same reason that he chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus:  God can use anyone, anytime, for any purpose.  No one is too "bad" to be saved, or too "common" to be used by God for great and mighty things!  Mary, selected to give birth to the Christ-child was practically a child herself! 

Rahab was a prostitute, yet she helped the Israelite spies get out of the land of Canaan.  King David was an adulterer and a murderer!  And yet THESE are the people that God chose to use for His kingdom! These are the people that were in the family line of the Savior of the world. I have made many mistakes in my life, yet God can still use me to do His will.

He doesn't wait for us to get right before He can and/or will use us.  He meets us right where we are. I am so thankful that we don’t ever have to be “good enough” for God.  Christians are far from perfect.  We are all sinners in need of a merciful Savior. Jesus came to save this dying world, and every single person in it.

And that includes YOU.  Just the way you are.

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