Aug 7, 2017

New Testament Women - The Gospel of Matthew Genealogy

By Phillip Medhurst -, FAL,
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know some of you are raising an eyebrow because these women's stories are told in the Old Testament. However, lineage passages are usually all about the men so when a woman makes the list, pay attention 'cause somethin happened. They are listed for a reason. So I'm looking into the why? What is it about them that made the cut into the 'begat' list? To do that first I have to figure out what is this particular genealogy trying to tell me.  Once that is established, we can begin to look at their stories and find out just what makes them special. Then comes the fun of gleaning the wheat from their lives to help make the spiritual bread that hopefully you will share with me. They are there for a reason, and I want to find out everything I can about it and them.

 Gospel of Matthew Chapter 1 Genealogy

According to The Catholic Study Bible, this genealogy is written to point out two things, Jesus as King, and the virgin birth. We know the royalty factor is being stressed because David is mentioned before Abraham. Abraham starts the genealogy because he is the father of the Israelites as a whole. This proves Jesus is an Israelite and therefore the Messiah foretold by their prophets. The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology says the placement of the genealogy is telling us who Jesus is in relation to the old testament. That in fact, Jesus fulfills the promise of God to restore the kingdom of David. However, for Him to do so, prophecies have to be fulfilled. The royal connection is pretty straight forward. What else is being said here? Cue the women. The women mentioned in the genealogy are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba), and Mary. Tamar tricked Judah, Rahab was an enemy prostitute, Ruth a foreign widow, Bathsheba was lusted after by a king, and Mary was a virgin mother. There isn't much common ground here. They all had very different lifestyles and backgrounds. Look a little deeper though and you will find they all had their sons in unlikely circumstances. The ones prior to Christ's birth all lead to the most unlikely birth to have ever been recorded, that of a virgin, giving birth to the Messiah....... in a barn.

So now we know what the genealogy is trying to convey we can get to the real meat of what I want to learn. What is it about these women that made them special enough for the author of the Gospel of Matthew to include them and what can I learn from them? The next post in this series will be about Tamar. What did she do? Why did she do it? What can we learn from it? 'Till then. Be Sweet Y'all!

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