URC Daily Devotion Friday 25 November 2022

Friday 25 November 2022  Genealogy  St Matthew 1: 1 – 17
 
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,  and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram,  and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,  and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,  and Jesse the father of King David.

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

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel,  and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,  and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 1and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,  and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

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.

Reflection

Television programmes, such as Who Do You Think You Are? help famous people to learn more about their family history.  When I finally finished my PhD I got a part of my life back, and one thing that I did was to revert to researching my family history.  I suspect that everyone studying their family history finds a few surprises.  I found an unmarried mother who made a rather clever job of covering tracks, and two minor criminals in a different branch.

Today we are presented with a family history of Jesus.  What we get is certainly more tidy and convenient than any family history that I’ve ever seen for anyone else, but should we be surprised that the saviour of the word doesn’t fit our normal patterns?

Back in 2016 Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, discovered that his biological father was not the man that he’d always thought it was.  He made a public statement, in which he said that:
“I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes…at the very outset of my inauguration service three years ago, Evangeline Kanagasooriam, a young member of the Canterbury Cathedral congregation, said: “We greet you in the name of Christ. Who are you, and why do you request entry?”  To which I responded: “I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God to travel with you in His service together.”  What has changed?  Nothing!”

Whatever we ever do or don’t know of our own family history, whatever we will learn of Jesus from his family history in the coming days, each of us finds our truest and deepest identity as nothing more and nothing less than a child of God.

Prayer

Lord, help me dig into the past, 
And sift the sands of time, 
That I might find the roots that made 
This family tree mine. 

Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts 
My soul, when I can’t find 
The missing link between some name 
That ends the same as mine.  Amen.
 

 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Dr Michael Hopkins is minister of a group of Methodist and United Reformed Churches in and around Farnham, Surrey, and Clerk of the General Assembly.

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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