It still boggles and amazes me that the Son of God, God Himself, literally became a man while still being God at the same time. I have no problem with Jesus’ deity, but sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my mind around His humanity. Long ago God promised a king of Israel that a Messiah would come from his descendants (1 Chronicles 17:11-14; spoken of in Luke 1:31-33). Though Jesus was born from a virgin, He also had a traceable lineage in both earthly parents back to that point of promise. Jesus’ lineage can even be traced further to various other promises! (To name a few promises: Genesis 12:1-3, to Abraham; Genesis 26:3-5, to Isaac; Genesis 28:14-15, to Jacob.)
Let’s talk about a few of the people in that lineage. We’ll be referencing Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38 for all the names. There were some less than stellar people in this line. David, son of Jesse, was one of those people you might be surprised to find in the lineage of God’s only Son. As king of God’s people, David had committed adultery with a woman called Bathsheba, and had her husband killed in order to have her as his wife. Yet through God’s mercy and grace, both David and Bathsheba were part of Jesus’ earthly lineage.
Go a little further back with me. A few generations before David, there was a non-Israelite in Jesus’ lineage. Ruth, a Moabite and daughter-in-law of Naomi, came to live in Israel with her mother-in-law and later married Boaz, David’s great grandfather.
Go even further back with me. David and Boaz were part of the Tribe of Judah, and the father of that tribe probably isn’t someone you would include in the lineage of Jesus if you had been choosing. Judah came up with the idea of selling one of his own brothers into slavery, and committed adultery with his own daughter-in-law, though he didn’t know it was her at the time. I’m seeing a lot of God’s mercy in Jesus’ lineage.
Let’s skip quite a bit and go right back to Abraham. He lied about his wife, Sarah, out of fear and put her in a few dangerous positions a couple times. He and Sarah both tried to speed up God’s timing in His promise to give them a son, and make a great nation, when Sarah told Abraham to take her maidservant as a wife. Though these two lacked faith at times, God still gave them another chance.
So through reading we trace Jesus’ lineage all the way back to Adam. There’s a lot of mercy throughout this history, and I thank God for it! He knew the people in Jesus’ lineage wouldn’t be perfect, or even exemplary all the time, but that further proves God’s love and mercy for us! God knew we’d need someone perfect, and as we’ve seen even Biblical heroes aren’t perfect. So Jesus came to save us because of love.