The final woman found in the genealogy of Jesus Christ is Mary. This young girl displays amazing faith and obedience to the Lord as she is faced with what others surely deemed a disgraceful circumstance. While Mary could have been overcome by her situation, instead she chose to praise God and ponder His amazing grace throughout her life.
2 Samuel 11-12 is a tragically familiar narrative for many. It is the story of David and Bathsheba. Though the account is heart-breaking because we are given a detailed account of the ongoing consequences of this one night of passion, it is also an account filled with God’s grace as we witness Bathsheba taken as a wife by David and giving birth to the next king of Israel, ultimately being included in the family tree of Jesus Christ. Bathsheba’s story reminds us that God’s grace is often woven amidst the pain of our lives.
The book of Ruth in the Old Testament tells the story of a foreign woman who places her faith in God resulting in a life directed by that faith. Though the circumstances of life remain difficult and Ruth must struggle just to provide the basic necessities of life for her and her mother-in-law, what she finds is that God’s love is not measured by the circumstances of life and no matter how hard we may try, we cannot out give God.
Joshua 2 is the story of a sinful woman, in a sinful profession, among a sinful people who, though she possesses limited knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, places her total faith in Him and is transformed by His grace. Rahab was likely the last person anyone would have thought would be saved and make such a radical life change from the city of Jericho, but through her faith, she and her family were not only saved, she becomes the great-great grandmother of King David and is included in the family tree of Jesus Christ. On two occasions in the New Testament she is commended for her faith and lifted up as an example of what faith looks life in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. That’s some legacy for a woman with a past like Rahab’s.
Matthew records the genealogy of Jesus Christ through Joseph. Though there appears to be increased interest these days in uncovering our family tree, there still seems to be a general disinterest when it comes to understanding why there are genealogies in the Scriptures. Perhaps this is related to our misunderstanding of the value of uncovering the riches of our spiritual family tree. Matthew’s genealogy records over 40 male names and 5 women. The presence of any women is unusual and would have been culturally controversial, but the presence of these 5 women borders on scandalous. For some reason God, through Matthew, included these 5 women in the genealogy of Jesus, drawing our attention to their stories found in the pages of Scripture. Through the stories of these women we learn that sometimes God works His will in the midst of the whispers of scandal, illuminating His grace.
Genesis 38 is a sad story of what happens when people live self-centered lives, that are nearly void of any concern for one another or for God. By the end of the story everyone has in some way wronged everyone else and there is not a person in sight who walks away unscathed or un-scarred by the selfish acts of themselves and others. Yet, both Judah and Tamar are included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 1. Why would God draw anyone’s attention to such a sad story? In the midst of this mess we find a truth worth treasuring, that what God purposes He will perform.
Genesis 1 forms a foundation for much of what we understand about life and how to live it. God creates humanity in His own image and delegates to humanity the responsibility for the care of creation. In Genesis 1:28 we find important truths about how we are to live life, support life, and even mulitiply life on this earth as God’s image bearers. We see that life thrives and multiplies when we live sustainably.
Sustainability is a popular term these days, but when we throw it around do we really understand what we are saying? As followers of Jesus Christ do we recognize what Scripture says about sustainability and its source? This message looks at the foundational source our efforts at sustaining and uncovers the reality that God’s sustaining grace undergirds and enables our efforts at sustainability.
As Jesus progresses through His final week the conflict with the religious leaders intensifies. Jesus’ responses to the religious leaders questions that are meant to trap Him become more and more direct and reveal the reality that not all who witness lives of sacrifice for the glory of God will rejoice and celebrate. Yet, Mark also drives home the truth that God will remember and empower those who live sacrificially for Him.