This devotional is a part of the 2021 Christmas devotional book – “Joy to the World.” Access the entire devotional and download your free copy by clicking here.
Rejoice! Grace runs in the family!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:1-17
I am the son of Dick and Beverly Robinson . . . the grandson of Don and Boonetta Davis and Glen and Alice Robinson . . . and so on, and so on. These facts are personally very meaningful. They describe my earthly heritage and contain the names of people who have shaped my life in profound ways.
Every person reading this ALSO is a part of a family tree. Though my experience as a descendant of the “Robinson” and “Davis” families is very positive, your experience may have been rocky. For good or for bad, we are still connected to and marked by our lineage. Personally, it bears great meaning to each of us.
However, there are some people whose family trees are not just PERSONALLY interesting, but have implications that impact the world. Think about members of the British Royal Family. Their blood lines bring with them responsibility and authority that impacts the society around them.
In Matthew 1:1-17, we see the family tree of Jesus Christ. This family tree lets us know a few things:
- It shows us that Jesus (the Son of God) became fully human at His earthly birth. He did not just become “human-like,” He PERSONALLY took on flesh and dwelt among us. Therefore, we do not have a Savior who cannot relate to us, but we have One who knows what it means to live in this world. His lineage is a reminder of that.
- It shows us that Jesus genealogy sets Him up for a WORLD-WIDE impact. He is a descendant of Abraham, reminding us that He is ethnically a Jew, thus continuing the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people long ago. Also, we see that Jesus’ great, great, great, great, great Grandpa was David – a reminder that Jesus would be the promised descendant of David to sit on the throne of God and reign forever. His family tree supports and qualifies Him for not just personal influence.
- It shows us that God’s grace in Jesus is for all who believe in Him. Inside of this genealogy are foreigners (Ruth and Rehab), the publicly disgraced (wife of Uriah), and those who have committed very consequential sins (David – among others). Yet all these show up in the royal lineage of Jesus. They are there NOT because they are great people, but because our God is gracious. … and He wants us to know His grace runs in the family.
At Christmastime, we sometimes skip the beginning verses of Matthew 1:1-17 and begin our Scripture reading when the Angels show up in 1:18ff. When we do that, we miss the blessing of generations . . . reminding us of the PERSONAL and WORLD shaping reality of Jesus life. Scan over the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 and see how many names you recognize.
Suggested song for today: Matthew’s Begats
In this Christmas devotional, there is a song referenced for each day. All these songs, are included in a playlist found on Apple Music and Spotify at the following links: