It is so easy to skip past the genealogy either in Luke or here in Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew decides to open up with his and it is his genealogy. This was never intended to mention all the names, he omits some, probably to help his readers memorise them and definitely to help them see his message. The message is that our tragedies of life have become God’s tragedy; the sadness and the failure of our stories are heading to one person who can absolve all of the world’s pain. That is of course, Jesus.
So here’s some more:
“David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah” (Matthew 1 v 6-7)
Matthew does it again. Having already mentioned Tamar, Rahab and Ruth; he doesn’t even have to mention her name, everyone knows as soon as he says Uriah’s wife: Bathsheba. Why does Matthew mention this, he doesn’t need to? Why doesn’t he allow his readers to focus on the Kingship of David? In fact it is interesting to see the whole verse, we read part of it yesterday:
“and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife”
See how Matthew first records David as King and then removes the title in the next sentence stressing his ordinariness.
That’s the point Matthew is making. “I don’t want you to focus on how special he was but how sinful and ordinary he was. This is not about your superstars of history but about one King, the only King!”
Matthew doesn’t even give Solomon the title King, he was Israel’s third and last. He doesn’t mention how Solomon (the 10th son of David and 2nd son of Bathsheba) had divine wisdom or gives no reminder of building the Temple. He simply with a few words reminds us of the immorality.
In the Message translation of Psalm 51 as David writes his feelings in song, he says, “God, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life”, v10.
And that’s exactly what God does for us.
There is nothing God cannot make good and welcome into the kingdom, not even Israel’s greatest sex scandal.
Let’s take in 2 further kings but of the line of Judah. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was a wicked king and the 10 tribes abandoned him and so he is known for Israel dividing under his reign. He reigned in Jerusalem only, his servant Jeroboam led the 10 tribes.
Matthew then takes us down the line of the kings of Judah and it seems that he does so alternating between wicked and good. So Rehoboam and Abijah are the wicked kings followed by the good. But we will get to them next.
2 Chronicles 12: 1 “After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israelwith him abandoned the law of the Lord.”
1 Kings 15: 1-3 “In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem three years … He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God …”
There are people in this genealogy of Matthew who never changed their ways. There was no redemption story. They were appointed by man, sometimes stealing and killing their way to the top and God doesn’t do anything about it, seemingly. He just watches from afar and permits a cruel story being played out during their tenure.
Don’t you ever wonder why God doesn’t step in more often than He does especially to sort out the injustices?
This is the message. He brings all things whether evil or good under the Lordship of Jesus. There are things and people that God never appointed. But He will take the sex scandals and the wicked injustices and weave them into His scandal and take on His injustice of the treatment of Himself in Jesus. Sometimes you simply cannot sugar coat the event. It is what it is. It only calls for a Saviour to come and to come soon.