Lessons from Messiah's Family Tree

Jesus the Messiah's family tree has surprising things to say about one's past and future. This 4-day devotional study will have you discovering surprising and, hopefully, encouraging truths.

Day 1
Matthew 1:1-17
Marked: v 1, 3a, 5ab, 6b
1. The mention of these four particular women are quite unusual since lineages are usually traced through male ancestors. And since these are the only women mentioned here, it makes it even more odd considering who they were.
  • Both Tamar’s (a Canaanite) bearing children and Bathsheba’s (a Hittite) becoming David’s wife, were done through seriously sinful circumstances.
  • Rahab (a Canaanite) may have had a very questionable past.
  • Ruth was a very kind and loyal person but she was also a Moabite.
Why were they included here then?

2. A few other noteworthy details concerning this ancestry:
  • At least 8 of them are prominent godly individuals. 3 others obviously followed the Lord.
  • Five are wicked kings who were involved in murder, betrayal, and idolatry.
  • Five (including 3 kings) followed God at times but had very questionable deeds & lifestyles.
  • At least 5 (including 4 kings) were very tolerant of sin around them.
  • Three kings started well but fell into serious sins.

Lessons Learned: 
1. The inclusion of the 4 women tells us that:
  • Jesus’ ministry is universal in nature
  • God may turn what started out as a wrong situation, into something that brings about His plans, however strange and unexpected it may be
  • God uses the most unlikely people at times for very significant purposes

2. Christ’s lineage having wicked, murderous, and idolatrous people, along with leaders who were disloyal, if not partially committed only to God. This tells us that:
  • Our past should never be a hindrance to our future
  • Our future is determined by changes we make today

Day 2
Matthew 1:18-19
Marked: v19
1. Under Jewish law, an engaged couple was virtually married. To break the engagement, divorce was the proper process.
2. Divorce was done either publicly (exposes the offender for possible stoning) or privately (just hands her a written divorce certificate before two witnesses). Most men would probably go with the first option to get back at an unfaithful fiancee. But Joseph showed compassion here as he followed the law. 

Lesson Learned:
Despite the wrong done to us, we should always be ready to show compassion when the need arises. For any wrong done there has to be consequences, but to keep a relationship and glorify God in the process, there has to be compassion. The necessity of consequences is born out of a sense of justice. The necessity for compassion is born out of a sense of love.

Day 3
Matthew 1:20-23
Marked: v 22-23
An angel reminds Joseph in a dream of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. Once again, we see how details of prophecy several hundred years before, quietly unfold before the eyes of these gloriously blessed couple.

Lessons Learned:
1. God’s promises and plans are dependable and true. Nothing can ever thwart any of God’s plans. Nothing can hinder God’s promises to us, except our disobedience.
2. If all these OT promises about Christ and other matters have come to pass, then we can rest assured that the promises that are yet to be fulfilled will do come true.  

Day 4
Matthew 1:24-25, 19
Marked: v 24
Upon being reminded of God’s prophecy and after being told that he has a great task ahead, he resolved to change his plan and obey.

Lessons Learned:
1. When we plan we should always do so with guidance from God’s Word and in keeping with our faith (vs.19).
2. When we plan we should always be sensitive to His promptings, always ready to submit to His leading (vs.24).

More on Matthew:
photo credit to Hans B