I. Matthew’s Genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17)
II. Shame on the Family Name
A. Tamar and her father-in-law, Judah’s, incestuous affair with her – Genesis 38
B. Rahab the prostitute from Jericho –Joshua 2:1-21; 6:15-25 (see also Heb 11:31; James 2:25)
C. Ruth the Moabitess –Book of Ruth (see also Gen 19:30-38; Num 22-25; Deut 23:3-6)
D. Bathsheba and King David’s sinful affair with her, and his subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah –2 Samuel 11-12
III. Why are these women included in Jesus’ genealogy?
A. Jesus the Messiah is not ashamed to identify Himself with sinners and outcasts.
B. God’s eternal plan of salvation is woven through the lives of very imperfect people –through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
C. Matthew’s genealogy punctures the pride we have in our own goodness and moral record.
“Jesus the storyteller deliberately leaves the elder brother in his alienated state. The bad son enters the father’s feast but the good son will not. The lover of prostitutes is saved, but the man of moral rectitude is still lost. We can almost hear the Pharisees gasp as the story ends. It was the complete reversal of everything they had ever been taught… Why doesn’t the elder brother go in? He himself gives the reason: ‘Because I’ve never disobeyed you.’ The elder brother is not losing the father’s love in spite of his goodness, but becauseof it. It is not his sins that create the barrier between him and his father, it’s the pride he has in his moral record; it’s not his wrongdoing but his righteousness that is keeping him from sharing in the feast of the father.”—Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, pp.40-41.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick … For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”—Matt 9:12-13).