An interest in genealogy has seemed to explode in our society. The websites that give help with finding information about our ancestors are very popular.
I am no different. I am interested in where I came from. Who came before me in my family. I recently looked at the 1940’s census to find out all I could about my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, great aunts and uncles. It was an interesting journey.
Several years ago, one of my women’s Bible study groups wanted to work through a fun study during the summer. We found five novellas written by Francine Rivers on the five women listed in Jesus’ genealogy. While some of the content is fictional, a portion of each book is straight from Scripture. We thoroughly enjoyed reading through the summer and working on the studies included in each book.
Can you name these five women? If you are like I was years ago, you probably have skipped over the sections of genealogy in Scripture. So why not read the account of Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1?
The first gal mentioned in Matthew 1:3 is Tamar. Tamar and Judah give birth to Perez and Zerah. Tamar’s story can be found in Genesis 38 and is filled with disappointment. But in the end, Tamar was blessed with two sons and a place in Jesus’ lineage.
The second is Rahab (Matthew 1:5), mother to Boaz. Rahab was a woman saved from Jericho and some say a prostitute. Although her story contained untruths on her part, she believed in the God of the Israelites and knew that He would be her salvation. Rahab’s story is found in Joshua 2 and Joshua 6:22-23.
Ruth is mentioned next (Matthew 1:5). Wife to Boaz and a woman who loved her mother in law so dearly, she was unable to leave her. In the midst of great trial, Ruth proclaimed, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17a – NIV) Ruth’s dedication was remarkable and God took notice!
Next in line is Bathsheba (Matthew 1:6). While she is not named specifically, she is referenced by her husband Uriah. David sinned with Bathsheba and great pain was the result of that sin. But again, God saw something special in Bathsheba and she was granted a special place in the genealogy.
Last, but not least is Mary (Matthew 1:16), the mother of Jesus. She was given the special honor birthing the Messiah, God’s own Son. Luke 1:28 (NIV) tells us of when the angel appeared to Mary. He said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Yes, Mary was favored. Her character flawless. Her faith unshakeable. Her trust immeasurable. God’s plan of salvation was delivered to the world through her.
These women weren’t the only women in Jesus’ lineage, they were the women God felt should be mentioned. They are indeed special.
I am thankful for my heritage. I’m also thankful for my spiritual heritage. Church history and God’s Word gives me a great account of those who came before me to preach and teach the Gospel. I am proud to be who I am!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,
If you are interested in reading more about Jesus’ genealogy, these are the books I’d recommend.
Callis, B. (2005) Biblical Genealogy: Abraham to Jesus Christ. Bloomington: Author House.
Rivers, F. (2000) Unveiled. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Rivers, F. (2000) Unashamed. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Rivers, F. (2001) Unshaken. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Rivers, F. (2001) Unspoken. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Rivers, F. (2001) Unafraid. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.