The Road To Bethlehem: The Patriarchs

Matthew 1:1-1 1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.

Genesis 12:1-3 1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
In Matthew chapter 1 the Bible lists 42 of the ancestors of Jesus Christ – from Abraham to Joseph. Some of these are heroes of the faith who were used by God to do amazing things. Others not so much! You would think that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would come from a distinguished line of faith and valor – those who set themselves apart from all others in their zeal for God! But what we find is a group of people not to much different from you and me. As we lead up to the day that we celebrate the birth of Christ let us consider some of these unlikely ancestors of Jesus.
In the first group that Matthew gives us we have the recipients of the Promises! First on this list is Abraham and his sons. This should not surprise us as God told Abraham that the world would be blessed through his offspring. (Genesis 12:1-3) Then later God confirmed this promise with Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5) and with Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15). These three men, who were separated from the world to bring about the line that would lead to Bethlehem, set the stage for what was to come. Abraham had some great victories in faith as he stepped out from his home in Ur at the command of God journeying through a strange land, taking his God at His Word. This is seen very clearly on the mountain top where Abraham stood over his bound promised son ready to act on the faith that God would honor His promises! But don’t forget that he also allowed fear to cause him to lie about his wife Sarah, putting her in a difficult position simply to keep himself safe. (Genesis 12:13). Isaac also had his flaws as he followed God, dividing his house by showing favoritism between his sons. Then Jacob supplanted his brother by taking both the birthright and the blessing from Esau.   This tells us that even though these men were used by God, they were still broken, sinful men. Dishonest, selfish and manipulative….not the traits that you and I would choose to show the world about our ancestors. However God shows us that if He can use these to bring about His plan of salvation for the world, then He can use us to proclaim the news of the Gospel and the grace and love of Christ to the world!
Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ let us consider how God can use even broken people like us to glorify His name! This Christmas Season let us present our bodies a living sacrifice to our Lord, saying “I give You my life, flaws and all, and ask you to use it to proclaim the Good news of Jesus Christ to the World!”