A Dubious Lineage

Matthew 1:1-16

by Scott Leake

I’ve never known a Baptist ladies’ Sunday School class or circle named after a woman in Jesus’ lineage other than Ruth. The New Testament’s Mary and Martha get their due but never the Old Testament’s Tamar, Rahab or Bathsheba. What’s up?

  • Tamar (see Genesis 38) was a “black widow” whose first two husbands, sons of Judah, died. She then disguised herself as a prostitute to trick Judah into having relations with her.
  • Rahab (see Joshua 6), a lifelong prostitute and innkeeper, was Ruth’s mother-in-law. She lied to her own people to save those pesky Israelite spies.
  • Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11-12 and 1 Kings 1-2) is the Bible’s most renown roof-top bather. Her first child, born out of wedlock with King David, died. Her second became King Solomon.

Artwork by Elizabeth W.

The magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the manger. What did these three ladies bring?

According to the theologians at the Hallmark Channel (see Verizon 240), “Christmas is the season for miracles.” Perhaps these checkered lives in the genealogy of the Christ child can bore into our hearts and minds the possibility that less than perfect folk, when coupled with the amazing and liberating Immanuel, can be a part of building the kingdom of God on earth.

If God can do great things with the likes of Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba, imagine what he can do this Advent with nice folk like you and me…today.

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