December 4, 2018 – These people are the point.
Merciful Lord, we come before with a deep knowledge of our sin. Give us true peace through Jesus, knowing we are loved and forgiven by you. Fill us with faith and strengthen us through your Word. Amen.
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.
People matter to God. Each person matters to God. In the Bible, God makes it very clear that he knows each person in this world and that each person in this world matters to him.
You matter to him. He knows the hair of your head. He knows every part of you. And you matter to him. This whole plan of salvation that we’re looking at had you in mind. It wasn’t enough for God to save a few people. He had to save all the people, especially you. You matter to him and he wants you to live with him in heaven.
He knows everything about you. He even knows your sin. That’s the scary part. He knows how you disrespected your teacher at school. He knows the mean thing you said to your friend. He knows those evil thoughts you had about a co-worker. He knows how you yelled and got angry.
That’s what is a little bit shocking about this genealogy of Jesus. We know about the sin of these people in this list. If you don’t know the stories of their sin quite yet, in the coming devotions we’ll get to know their stories a little bit better.
But here’s the question: How could God include sinners as part of his plan of salvation?
That’s the point. That’s the point of the plan of salvation. These people in this family tree of Jesus aren’t just a part of the plan of salvation. They are the point of the plan of salvation. Jesus came for them. Jesus had to come for them. He had to. It was necessary! He had to come to this earth to save these sinners from their sin. He had to come FOR sinners.
He had to come FOR you. These are two of the greatest words of the Christian faith. FOR YOU. These words tell us who God did all this for – for you. These words tell us for whom God arranged this whole plan of salvation – for you. And not just for you, but for them too. For Abraham and Judah and Tamar and Rahab and David. Jesus came for the people from whose family tree he came.
Additional Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Hebrews 2:10-18
1. How many of the people in the family tree of Jesus are sinners?
2. Who is “the worst”?
3. Paul thinks it is him. He said this: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst”(1 Timothy 1:15). Do you agree with him? Is he the worst? Why or why not?
1. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17. Why is Paul amazed at God’s grace to him?
2. What is amazing about the people whom God came to save, like Paul? What does this mean for you?
3. Read Hebrew 2:10-18. Who did Jesus come to help? What did he come to do for them?
Lord Jesus, we praise you that you were willing to live and die for us. You came for us and for all people so that we sinners might be saints, and have the promise of salvation. Give us your strength to live our lives for your glory. Amen.