Jewish Jesus

by Andrew Forrest

The first page of the New Testament–which is the first page of Matthew’s Gospel–begins with what seems the most boring way possible: a genealogy (!).  The problem is (and I mean no offense) that we are too illiterate to know the stories behind the names.  Matthew’s first readers were probably Jewish, and to them each name was a hyperlink to an amazing story from their history.  (To cite just one example, read the truly scandalous story about Tamar, mentioned in Matthew 1:3 as one of the foremothers of Jesus.)  What this genealogy does is something very important: it shows that Jesus came from a particular people in a particular part of the world.  Jesus was Jewish, a son of Abraham, an Israelite.

This point cannot be overstated: God chose one particular family to be his means to save the world, and when the time was right, God came as a baby in a particular manger in Bethlehem.  God uses the ordinary realities of everyday life as part of his ultimate plan.

This means that God wants to use your ordinary decisions today as part of his plan.  Either you can be working with God, or against him.  Which will it be today?

Today’s Scripture

Matthew 1:1-17

Additional Resources

I wrote about this passage in August 2018.  Also, the Bible Project has a truly excellent post on Matthew’s Genealogy.



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1 comment

Amanda M Houghton January 1, 2019 - 11:49 am

It also shows a very humble beginning, a family full of sinners struggling with every day reality that can be comparatively similar to what we deal with today. God uses everything and everyone for His purpose.


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