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Advent Readings: Day 14

For this Advent season we offer you a Bible reading for each day which points to the first coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas and his return in glory!

Matthew 1:1 - 17

1This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

A few comments

A genealogy. Seriously? What possible relevance could this have, unless I’m in the process of choosing babies’ names…?  As it happens, a lot. Papyrus and parchment were valuable commodities and the writers of the gospels did not waste space. Matthew decided that it was more important to include this list of names than a physical description of what Jesus looked like (which no New Testament book includes). Each name is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling his promise. Each name tells a story of God working patiently and powerfully. The Old Testament tells many of the stories. We can read of how God worked through the impossible circumstances of Abraham’s life to fulfil his promise. How God transformed deceitful Jacob and wicked Judah to keep the line of the promise alive. How God’s promise welcomed pagan Tamar and her shamefully conceived son Perez. There is Ruth, from the irredeemable Moabites and David, who committed such seemingly unforgivable sins… (A few hours with a study bible and you can dig into some of the other remarkable histories that the names in this genealogy represent).

Throughout we are reminded that nothing has stopped God keeping his promises – not human weakness, not human wickedness, not human infertility, not human infidelity – nothing can stop this God from fulfilling his plan to bring salvation to the world through a child born to Abraham’s line. Here is a God you can trust!

Point for Prayer

Praise God for his faithfulness and rejoice in the way that he uses faithless and wicked people like us to serve him. But rejoice most of all that at Christmas he sent his Son, who never sinned and always trusted, to be our perfect saviour.