Anyways, reading today from Matthew 1. Just so you know, I almost always read out of the English Standard Version (ESV) I will sometimes change though if a reading isn't making alot of sense to me. Sometimes changing translations can bring a passage to life.
Anyways, back to Matthew.
The book of Matthew was written by...MATTHEW! Hard to figure that one eh? :)
This is what Theodoretus says
Matthew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Beroea, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Saviour quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the translators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist "Out of Egypt have I called my son," and "for he shall be called a Nazarene."Now for the actual study of this first chapter.
In the first seventeen verses we read the genealogy of "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (v.1)
Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Judah to Perez (by Tamar) to Hezron to Ram to Amminadab to Nashson to Salmon to Boaz(by Rahab) to Obed (by Ruth) to Jesse to David.
Then from King David to Solomon (by the wife of Uriah) to Rehoboam to Abijah to Asaph to Jehoshaphat to Joram to Uzziah to Jotham to Ahaz to Hezekiah to Manasseh to Amos to Josiah to Jechoniah.
And then after the exile Jechoniah to Shealtiel to Zerubbabel to Abiud to Eliakim to Azor to Zadock to Achim to Eliud to Eleazar to Matthan to Jacob to Joseph.
And Joseph was the "husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ".
17So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.Four women are mentioned. Forty men are mentioned.
The women are not generally women of good repute.
The men are not all men of good repute, in fact, some we know not much about.
So the past of Jesus Christ the man is spotty. BUT he was born to devout parents. I know from later scripture that Jesus was circumcized as was the law, and they went to temple as the law ordained and so forth.
Joseph was a just man. He was not a man to willingly put a woman to shame.
He was also a man who took seriously words from the Lord. He changed his mind about divorcing Mary when the angel from God told him not to fear marrying her. He willingly took on the responsibility of raising the son of another...in this case God.
Mary was a lady chosen by God to bear his child. She was a woman who pondered things in her heart. She was seen with favour by God.
They were a couple who fulfilled the word of God.
This is the past of Jesus.
A bit spotty in parts, a bit devout in others. A man after God's own heart was part of his past. A woman of questionable morals was also part. But all were used of God.
So my past, your past, anyones past is NOT an excuse to not follow God. If God calls us, we must act upon it. We must accept all that we are when called upon by God, and that means accepting others too...even if you don't like how they do things, or how they dress, or what their past was.... if they have a true love for God and a hunger to know him and live for him.... we must needs accept them. It's part of loving the family of God.
I have a friend that I would LOVE to have come to know Christ, but I am also afraid of what might happen if she does...and then joins my church. Not for my sake...but for hers. She has a rough past, a edge about her that many who don't know Christ have, and I fear for what would happen or be said to her should she ever become one of Christ's own. How will those of us who have NEVER walked in her shoes react to her? We will support or will we... well... NOT?
Granted, God has not moved her heart in this direction yet.... but I keep praying and hoping... But also wondering...
How do we as a church, and/or as a people of God, meet the Rahab's and Uzziah's wives of this world when God calls them out of it?