The Power Of A Name

As you start to read the New Testament, Matthew shows us the genealogy of Jesus. What an odd thing to start a book with. At least I used to think so. I would often skip that part because I didn’t understand the importance of it.

I get it now. God is showing us that someone doesn’t have to be a perfect person with no faults to be important to His Kingdom. The family lineage of Jesus has many surprising characters in it. The good, the bad, the righteous, and many who missed the mark by far!

It begins with Abraham, which seems like a good place to start, after all, God called him righteous. We have looked at Isaac, Jacob, and Esau the last few weeks and know the family dysfunction we found there. King David was a celebrated man, but not without sinful lust as he had an innocent man killed because he’d been with his wife.

Manasseh was one of the most evil kings for most of his reign. But we also see several women mentioned, which wasn’t the norm for the time. These women were not all “good” or prestigious women. Rehab was a prostitute, Ruth was an immigrant from another land, not considered of any importance.

Jesus’ family wasn’t perfect, but God sent him in the world anyway. Not to condemn it, but to save it! Let’s face it, none of us have perfect families. That’s why we see the imperfection in the genealogy. We can rest assured that we don’t have to be perfect. God knows that we all have our flaws and he loves us anyway. He isn’t waiting for us to get our lives straightened out before we come to him seeking forgiveness. No, he loves us anyway! He accepts us just as we are, broken.

God has been writing himself into our stories.

Can you see the way God shows us redemption is possible? God plays the long game. He’s patient and his grace has covered over our sins more times than any of us would care to admit. We can’t do anything to earn it because he offers it freely to anyone willing to accept it.

We tend to focus on the sins in the stories, pointing out the weaknesses in the characters. Just like we point out the sinners in our lives, shaking our heads at their wrongs when we’ve done something similar ourselves. A sin is a sin no matter how small.

Instead of focusing on the sin, we should be focused on the grace of God. That’s the hope God writes into our stories. His grace shines light on the darkness in our sins!

There are flawed people in the family tree so that we focus on Jesus. After all he’s the friend of sinners!

Jesus is the friend of sinners!

No matter what our past looks like or our present feels like, God is here to give us a fresh start.

  • God knows what you’re going through.
  • God brought Christmas to us to save us from our sins.
  • God’s been weaving holiness throughout our stories.
  • Can you see God in your story?
  • Jesus brings hope to a fallen world.

Thank you so much for reading this blog post. Our pastor preached this sermon on Dec 11, 2022 at Milan Christian Church in Milan, IN. We’d love to have you visit if you’re ever in the area. Our worship starts at 10:30. See you then!

In Faith,

Pam

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