Messy Tree

“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”

Matthew 1:17

Matthew clearly wants to draw a direct line from Abraham to Jesus Christ in a family tree. But he includes some interesting branches in the tree along the way. Judah’s brothers. Tamar. Rahab. Ruth. Uriah’s wife. Jehoiachin’s brothers. Prostitute, foreigner, those that would sell family into slavery, the incestuous and the unfaithful. Not to speak of more well known names like David and other kings that came under God’s judgement.

Jesus is the Truth and the truth sets us free, but the truth is not always elegant or unblemished. Even Jesus’ own family line speaks of the messiness of reality. We serve a very human Messiah with a very human family tree.

There is a tendency among God’s people to want to clean up and shut up. We don’t talk about the dirty laundry of our family history and when we do, it tends to be whitewashed. Some of this is no doubt a level of respect. We don’t want to become critical of situations and people that we may really know very little. But think there is some pride there too. A careful coiffing of our public persona.

But here is Jesus, the Christ. Family secrets laid bare to the world. The beginning of a saga that would end with His body laid bare for the sins of the world. Truth cut and pained Him, yet He hid nothing.

There is a reality about the Man, a realism recorded in the gospels that continues to draw me in to the narrative. I encourage to read through Matthew as we journey along and be drawn in yourself. To see that Jesus was a real man, with real personality, with a real family.

Lord, speak your truth. Your servant is listening.

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