17 December, Tuesday – God’s Perfection

17 Dec 2019

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Genesis 49:2,8-10

Jacob called his sons and said:
‘Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen;
listen to Israel your father.
Judah, your brothers shall praise you:
you grip your enemies by the neck,
your father’s sons shall do you homage,
Judah is a lion cub,
you climb back, my son, from your kill;
like a lion he crouches and lies down,
or a lioness: who dare rouse him?
The sceptre shall not pass from Judah,
nor the mace from between his feet,
until he come to whom it belongs,
to whom the peoples shall render obedience.’

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Matthew 1:1-17

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse;
and Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah;
and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

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Of her was born Jesus who is called Christ

The genealogy of Jesus shows forty-two (42) generations; fourteen (14) from Abraham to David, fourteen (14) to the Babylonian deportation and fourteen (14) from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

When I first looked at Jesus’ lineage, I saw the faith of Abraham at work. This faithfulness can be seen in his leaving Ur for Canaan, and when he almost sacrificed his only son Isaac, in obedience to God.

This lineage looked perfect to me, until I read that there were interesting characters within the line. For example, Perez, the son of Judah and Tamar. This doesn’t sound extraordinary until we learn that Perez was conceived when Judah slept with Tamar believing that she was a prostitute. In fact, Judah was Tamar’s father-in-law! Tamar was the widow of Judah’s eldest son, Er, who subsequently married his second son Onan (according to tradition). Onan, too, died prematurely.

Two other examples I can see is that of Ruth, who came from the tribe of Moab, this tribe came about when Lot’s daughters slept with him! Finally, Solomon, who was a product of King David and Bathsheba, whom David married after arranging for Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, death in battle.

Knowing these three stories gave me a new perspective.

While I had originally thought that Jesus had been born into a “pure” and “perfect” bloodline, I realised that this lineage had been less than perfect. To me, God had perfected the imperfect! This was a powerful lesson; that no matter He, too, perfects us when we do His work and live according to His will.

Actually, in preparing for this reflection, I learned something else.

Because of the virgin birth, Jesus actually did not come Joseph’s lineage. Instead, He came from Mary’s! As much as it is that Joseph had adopted into his lineage, God had adopted Abraham’s lineage as His.

How powerful it is when we walk in the path has God has chosen for us!

(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)

Prayer: Father, teach us to be open to Your will. Help us to always trust in You!

Thanksgiving: Thank You for guiding and protecting us, and for making us perfect despite our imperfection.

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