Advent Devotional: Week Four - Sunday
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:1-17 (HCSB)
The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
Abraham fathered Isaac,
Isaac fathered Jacob,
Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez fathered Hezron,
Hezron fathered Aram,
Aram fathered Amminadab,
Amminadab fathered Nahshon,
Nahshon fathered Salmon,
Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,
Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered King David.
Then David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,
Solomon fathered Rehoboam,
Rehoboam fathered Abijah,
Abijah fathered Asa,
Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,
Joram fathered Uzziah,
Uzziah fathered Jotham,
Jotham fathered Ahaz,
Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,
Manasseh fathered Amon,
Amon fathered Josiah,
and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
Then after the exile to Babylon Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel,
Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,
Abiud fathered Eliakim,
Eliakim fathered Azor,
Azor fathered Zadok,
Zadok fathered Achim,
Achim fathered Eliud,
Eliud fathered Eleazar,
Eleazar fathered Matthan,
Matthan fathered Jacob,
and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, 14 generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, 14 generations.
If you actually take the time to read through the list of names in Jesus genealogy you nd four very unusual names present for a typical genealogy. Matthew lists four women whose own background was either Gentile (non-Jewish), scandalous, or both! You can read the texts yourself to get the full picture: Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 6), Ruth (Ruth 4), and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), who isn’t even listed by name.
Matthew creates a historical snapshot of Jesus’ family line where each name is carefully chosen. It’s hard to say for sure why he includes these women; they were both infamous characters and examples of people outside of the Jewish family on whom God lavished his grace. Overall, you should get the impression that Jesus is the fulfillment of both God’s promises to the patriarchs of the faith (Abraham and David), as well as fulfilling his promise to declare salvation to all kinds of people from all the nations!
Prayer: Dear God of History, you have known us since our birth, and you have known us since before time began. Help us to praise you as the God who proclaims peace to all kinds of people. Help us to praise you as the God that desires all kinds of people from all the nations to enter into your family and to call on the name of your son, Jesus. Make your name great, through your people in your Church, throughout the entire world. And use us to accomplish this great and glorious plan.
Advent Singing: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
O come, O come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, O Wisdom from on high, who ordered all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show and teach us in its ways to go.
O come, O come, great Lord of might, who to your tribes on Sinai's height in ancient times did give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem, unto your own and rescue them! From depths of hell your people save, and give them victory o'er the grave.
O come, O Key of David, come and open wide our heavenly home. Make safe for us the heavenward road and bar the way to death's abode.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star, and bring us comfort from afar! Dispel the shadows of the night and turn our darkness into light.
O come, O King of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind. Bid all our sad divisions cease and be yourself our King of Peace.