Christmas Series 2019

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Matthew 1:1–3 KJV 1900
1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
Matthew 1:
Matthew 1:15–17 KJV 1900
15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Getting to Messiah is presently running a special. for just $49 you can purchase the DNA kit which comes with a tube and pre-paid envelope. You simply fill the tube with saliva, shake it for 5 seconds, put it in the envelope and mail it off. Within a few days or weeks, the research team will run the results of your DNA and provide to you information as to where you are from and who you are. The further research of the team will begin to fill in the branches of your family tree until you are able to identify your ancestry. At first thought, I know that would be pretty cool to know all of my family members…my great, great, great grandparents. Learn the identify of my fifth cousins, twice removed and the great aunts and uncles I never knew I had. Then I considered that perhaps ignorance is bliss and perhaps the unknown is better left in the unknown.
I’ve just got this feeling that the more digging and delving I start doing the more discouraged and depressed I’m going to be. probably not too many presidential genes or royal dna flowing through this body.
The fact is that even without the research of we are all aware of some crooked branches on the family tree.
For many the first 17 verses of Matthew chapter 1 are just a boring barrage of names before we get to the good stuff. For most of us, our recollection of Matthews writing begins with the first phrase of verse 18 “now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise”.
However, the entire message of the bible is preached in the first 17 verses.
Matthew Henry states in his commentary of the first 17 verses, and I quote, “
It is not a needless genealogy. It is not a vain-glorious one, as those of great men often are. It proves that our Lord Jesus is of the nation and family out of which the Messiah was to arise. The promise of the blessing was made to Abraham and his seed; of the dominion, to David and his seed. It was promised to Abraham that Christ should descend from him, ...and to David that he should descend from him, and, therefore, unless Jesus is a son of David, and a son of Abraham, he is not the Messiah. Now this is here proved from well-known records. When the Son of God was pleased to take our nature, he came near to us, in our fallen, wretched condition; but he was perfectly free from sin: and while we read the names in his genealogy, we should not forget how low the Lord of glory stooped to save the human race.
Matthew introducing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the ancestry from Abraham to Jesus was establishing him as Messiah. Unless he is Messiah, every miracle he performs is pointless and his sacrifice at calvary is powerless.
These generations of Jesus that are shared in Matthew chapter 1 are a royal blood line. A blood line that would flow from the promise of Abraham to the fulfillment of Messiah. Not just a lineage of kings…but a lineage that would lead to the King of Kings. Pedigree that would lead to the Prince of Peace. And as we look at this lineage that led to Jesus…we find amazing truths of what it takes to get from promise to Messiah.
Over the next four weeks, we will look at individuals and groups from within this lineage that will share with us truths of what it takes to get to Messiah.
The first group that we will look at today is somewhat of a shocking…misfit group.

Who let you in?

We are in the season of Christmas festivities and celebrations. From school programs to office parties and church productions, ‘tis the season to be jolly.
And yet the question with many, when we began to plan our seasonal celebrations and our festive gatherings…who do we invite? We can’t invite everyone and even if we could…well, anyhow...
So where do we draw the line.
I recall several years ago, when I was working for a government contractor, I had been offered a job by a competing company. The president of the company invited my wife and I to swing by the office for their Christmas party even though I hadn’t yet decided wether or not to accept the offer. So…we stopped by and began to make our way through the festive set up. We sampled the cheese and crackers and the bacon wrapped shrimp…we tried the crab cakes and the mozerella sticks…a couple portions of the chips and salsa and the stuffed mushrooms…and while the food was incredible, the atmosphere was not.
Every person that we passed by was giving us the same odd look that conveyed the very clear message…who in the world are you? And what are you doing at our Christmas party? … Who let you in?
While they weren’t rude or belligerent, I could tell that they wondered why was some stranger wondering around eating their crab cakes and stuffed mushrooms?
And as I look through the lineage of Jesus Christ, there are names on the list that are much like myself at the Christmas party…Names that we would like and wonder…what are they doing here?
These are the names on the party registry that we would like at and ask…what were they doing there?
Who invited them to the party? Who let them in the door?
If Matthews responsibility is to prove the nobility and the majesty of Jesus…
If his point was to authenticate Jesus Christ as an heir of Abraham and an offspring of David…there are a few names that perhaps should have been left off the list.
If the purpose of Matthew, as perpetuated by theologians and historians, was to prove to the Jewish hierarchy that indeed Jesus was the Messiah…then perhaps there are a few names that Matthew should have omitted.
However, not only does Matthew not omit these names…he goes out of his way to include them. It’s as if Matthew is stating that these notorious names, didn’t just simply sneak in the back door somehow…they were indeed the guests of honor.
These 4 names that I will share with you today weren’t just oversights that somehow snuck past the editor…that somehow God overlooked them in the bloodline of the messiah, savior and king…but in fact though their stories are scandalous…their presence in the bloodlines is for some reason heralded.
The names of which I speak are
Matthew 1:3 NKJV
3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.
Matthew 1:3
Matthew 1:5 NKJV
5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,
Matthew 1
Matthew 1:6 NKJV
6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Matthew 1
the mother of Solomon who had been the wife of Uriah
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the woman that been the wife of Uriah
Before I speak of the reputation of each of these names mentioned, the one thing that they all have in common is first and foremost that none of them should have been mentioned.
In a time and a culture that was a very much male dominated society, including the name of a female in the lineage was unheard of. simply the fact that Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bethsheba were women was all the reason needed for their exclusion from the party.
And so the fact that they are there are like 4 neon bulbs on a white light Christmas tree. In other words, these women didn’t just sneak past security…they were names that it is as if the Almighty is saying…i want extra attention brought to the fact that I am related to these women.
Perhaps there are attributes about each of these women that the messiah wants us to consider…noteworthy qualities and reputations that are worthy of the bloodline of a king? Perhaps they themselves were of noble blood and so they add to the grandeur and the majesty of the royal gene-pool...
So what is it then of Tamar…is she the descendant of nobility…the princess or queen from some far away land? No...
Genesis chapter 38 records the story of Tamar…no…not a princess or a queen…but the scorned daughter in law of Judah, who plays the part of a prostitute to seduce her own father in law in order to have a child to link her to an inheritance.
Then maybe its Rahab…perhaps the shining reputation of Rahab will offset the shameful notoriety of Tamar.
introduces us to Rahab when it tells us that the Israelite spies came into the house of a harlot named Rahab....
Tamar played the part of a harlot…but Rahab lived the life of a harlot...
Tamar engaged in the sordid life one time to obtain an inheritance…but for Rahab it was a way of living.
this isn’t getting any better
Maybe this Ruth…perhaps she would be the one to tip the scales and bring honor and dignity back to the family tree.
Ruth chapter 1 verse 3 tells us that Ruth was a Moabite woman. This identification as a Moabite woman is not an upgrade from the reputation of Tamar or Rahab…if anything it is a downgrade.
The Moabites were the descendants of Lots son Moab, born as a result of Lots incestual relationship with his own daughter.
Deuteronomy chapter 23 vs. 3 declared “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”
The Moabites were a people that worshipped the God of Baal-Peor…the worship of Baal-Peor was performed by temple priestesses who were actually prostitutes.
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord
And now we go from Tamar who played the part of a prostitutue, to Rahab who lived the life of a prostitute, to Ruth who was part of a people that viewed prostitution as worship...
Well…we still have one more…it can’t get any worse than where we are can it? Maybe this last one…the wife of Uriah will swoop in and with her dignity and charm, she will undo all of the bad that the other names have represented.
But no…Bethsheba was the wife of Uriah…but she entered into an adultress relationship with King David.
It was Bethsheba who had seduced the King while her husband was away fighting on the battlefield.
What are they doing at the party? Who invited these women to the party?
Who let them in?
why Matthew…its pointless…no need to include them…you’re given a free pass by culture…its the culture norm not to include the women…why are you intentional in including reputations that are so sordid and soiled?
Why? Here is why these women were included in the genealogy and the lineage of the King, Savior and Messiah...
why then Matthew…its pointless…no need to include them…you’re given a free pass by culture…its the culture norm not to include the women…why are you intentional in including reputations that are so sordid and soiled?
Because in every situation, these women didn’t end where they started.
thats what they were…but its not what they remained…they were included in the genealogy of Jesus to emphasize this isn’t just any king! You don’t have to start as a princess to end up a queen in his kingdom!
Tamar played the part of a harlot, but she ended up the mother of Pharez which means breakthrough!
Rahab lived the life of a harlot, but tells us that perished not with Jericho but received the spies with peace. She left her old life and married Salmon from the tribe of Judah.
when Ruths husband died, she could have remained among the Moabites…but she clave to Ruth and said your people will be my people and your God will be my God.
Bethsheba didn’t stay an adultress…she gave birth to Solomon and raised her son in wisdom and discernment.
God was saying…don’t exclude them…i know that people may wonder who invited them to the party…but I want people to know that my lineage is made up of people who didn’t stay what they were!
What you were doesn’t have to define what you will be!
CLOSING: its as if God was saying…don’t leave out the mess! I Know that culture gives me the easy way out that I can hide all of the dirty family secrets. Its an easy out not to invite the crazy uncle to the party. But...I want the mess in there! in fact bold it, highlight it, underline it…put it in 30 point font…I want everyone to know that their mess won’t stop my work of redemption!
God didn’t hide the mess that led to the birth of the redeemer because redemption isn’t just for people that sip their tea with their pinkies in the air. Sure…there are some amazing people in the lineage of Jesus. Some incredible Heroes of faith. Some guys that we might look at and say…wow…i could never do that! But God said I want some folks included in the lineage that people will look at and say…really? Who let them in? If he can use them…maybe he can use me! If he could use their mess to bring about redemption…then maybe he can redeem me from my mess!
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