Daily Prayer Guide – Monday, Nov 30

Matthew 1:1-17
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

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

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,  7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,  8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,  9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,  10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,  11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel,  1314 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,  15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,  16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

After four hundred years of God’s silence, the prologue to New Testament opens with Jesus’ genealogy. It is almost a summery of all notable Jewish history since the nation was founded in Abraham two thousand years before. Matthew wanted to first establish who Jesus was. To the Jews, your genealogy was you r identity. It was crucial that Jesus was shown to be of the lineage of David in order to be in line for the king’s throne, as well as proceeding from the seed of Abraham to prove he was the son of the covenantal promise. Matthew is defining Jesus in terms of messianic expectations. He needed to have the right credentials.

Through this motley genealogy of men and women of great faith, gentile women of questionable reputation (Ruth), adulterers (David and “Uriah’s wife”), prostitutes (Rahab) murderers, God funneled the long awaited messiah.

The Hebrew nation was waiting. God was also waiting, for the fullness of time. We barely understand the history let alone the mystery of the shaping of this astonishing genealogical account.

Why were these particular people chosen to participate in God’s overarching plan of bringing salvation to the world? Some had great faith, many had only small faith and all were deeply flawed. The more we know about these “interesting characters” that God uses, the more we realize it is the grace of God that accomplishes it all. God chooses the humble and the unlikely to participate in his work. God can choose and use anyone who meets him at the point of faith and grace. It is part of the great mystery of his fearless love.

Remember a time when you experienced God using an unlikely person to accomplish something good. Think about any reason you might have to believe that God could not use you. Look again at the genealogy of Jesus and remember his great love and grace.

Who are the “unlikely characters” in your life and world? People who you are not excited to see when you run into them? Ask God to help you see how these people could be vehicles of his work in your life.

Ask God to give you grace to be available to serve him in some small way today. “He gives grace to the humble.”

Written by Diane Peters

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