21: I Am Foremost

1 Timothy 1:15
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of who I am the foremost.

Each gospel tells the life of Christ from a unique angle, highlighting different aspects to make various points. The gospel of Matthew begins with a geneaology, most people probably skip over it (I often do), pretending to read it, moving on. All those names. I encourage you to actually read it though, and pay attention to those arduous names. It’s a pretty profound paragraph for a few reasons. Matthew was written for a Jewish audience to whom genealogies are of the upmost importance, what lineage you belonged to determined largely who you were, including whether you were part of the priesthood or not, and genealogies primarily went through the men. Now take a look at Matthew, four women are named: Tamar, who’s sordid story can be found in Genesis 38 , Rahab a non-Jew who was also a prostitute, Ruth a Moabitess, and Bathsheba the woman with whom David committed adultery. God could have brought Jesus through any family lineage he chose, but he chose one with tragedy and sin. If you read the bible it’s pretty easy to see that God doesn’t arbitrarily do things, so bringing the Christ through this lineage was intentional, as was naming the most notable characters in the lineage of the messiah. So, why?
Because God uses the sinner and he uses the tragic. God uses the weak and the humble; he uses sinners; because if he didn’t use sinners, he wouldn’t be able to use anyone at all, because we all have fallen short of the glory of God. The beauty of the lineage of Christ is that it is full of sinners and suffering, it is full of flawed weak characters; and it reflects our world perfectly. The genealogy of Jesus has some of the most tragic stories highlighted, with murder, betrayal, and sexual sins at the forefront, but God not only redeemed them all, he used them to bring the Christ into the world. Further reminding us that with him, all things are possible, including saving the most wretched sinner and using them for the highest honors of faith.

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