He was born in the hamlet of Bethlehem, an inconsequential dot on the map, but it was the birthplace of Kings, the very root and stump of Jesse, and from it now sprang this young shoot, the ruler who would sit on the throne of Judah forever.
the most important name given to Jesus is the one Matthew used in his genealogy, in verse 1, verse 16, verse 17 and verse 18: Christ, Messiah, the anointed one.
When I was a young girl, there was an enormous social stigma attached to having a baby when you weren’t married. You got sent away to extended family, had the baby in secret, started another life, or gave the baby up for adoption, very privately. Children raised out of wedlock didn’t have the same legal rights as children born to or adopted by a married couple.
But, if Matthew had ransacked the whole Old Testament, he’d have been hard pressed to find four more unlikely candidates for the Messiah’s genealogy than the following women.
Beginning Monday, Grace and Peace will present seven posts on Jesus’ heritage and birth, bringing the nativity narrative through Matthew’s gospel.
My church, New Hope Chapel, Arnold MD, is finishing up a four-part Advent series called “We Were There.” Each member of the teaching team took a character from Jesus’ birth narrative and told the tale from that perspective. I got “The Midwife”