Advent Family Devotion: These people are part of the story.

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December 3, 2018 – These people are part of the story.

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, your Word is our assurance of our salvation and your promises are our comfort in this life. Open our hearts to hear and our faith to grow as we hear you speak to us. Amen.

Devotion:

Matthew 1:1-6

1This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.

Everybody loves a good genealogy.  Right?  And everyone’s favorite books of the whole Bible are Chronicles and Numbers.  These are books where God provides detailed family information and census data for his people before and after leaving Egypt.

The truth is these are some of the most challenging parts of the Bible for us to read.  First, we struggle just to say the names.  Some of them we know and recognize from Sunday School.  Some of them we can easily sound out.  But who can get a name like Amminadab out of their mouth smoothly?

But the bigger challenge we have is why? Why did God choose to spill so much ink on a bunch of names and families and family trees?

Each name that God has recorded matters to God. Each soul on this earth matters to God and God shows us that when he records their names. He inspired those writers and those names, so they are important to him.

Even more importantly, these people are part of the story of God saving the world.  These people are part of God’s saving plan for the whole world.  They are all part of the God’s incredible plan to save the world.

That is what we see here most clearly in the first chapter of Matthew.  Right off the bat, Matthew tells us that this is the family tree of Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.  This is the family tree of our Savior.  And these people whom God lists are part of God’s plan to save you and to save me. These names are written down for you and for me so that we can see whoGod used to save us.  These are not just names for the sake of names.  These people are a vital and important part of God’s plan to save the world, to save you and me.

Additional Reading: Isaiah 49:1-13

Family Questions:

1.      Which names in the Family Tree of Jesus in Matthew do you recognize?

2.     What do you know about the people you recognize? What is your favorite Bible story about them?

3.     Why do you think God tells us their stories in the Bible?

Going Deeper:

1.      Read Isaiah 49:1-13.  The one speaking is “the Servant of the LORD.”  What does he say about himself in this section.

2.     What does God deeply desire? (Look at v 49:6).

3.     How deeply does God desire it?

Prayer:

Gracious Father, you placed your name on us in our baptisms, and you adopted us to be your own children. We thank you for grafting us into your family tree, now and for eternity, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior and Brother. Amen.