READ MATTHEW ONE
Pull out a piece of scrap paper. As you read through the following text, make note of all the names you are not familiar with in the family line of Christ.
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
There are so many characters represented here. Some have Old Testament narratives that due to time restrictions, we just aren’t able to look at in depth here. But there are also many names on this list that we know almost nothing about. Several of these names appear here, in Matthew one, without an Old Testament account to tell us about their lives.
In some ways it is easy to consider the Abrahams, Sarahs, Tamars, Rahabs, Davids, Ruths, and Boazes of the Bible. Their stories so overtly tell us about the character of God. But what about the Jorams? The Abiuds? The Zadoks? What about their perhaps more ordinary lives? Why are they included, and how do they point us to Christ?
While it is exciting to look at the well-known stories of the heroes of the faith throughout the Old Testament, we aren’t terribly likely to find the same kind of excitement in our own lives. I don’t know about you, but my life is fairly ordinary. Each day I do small, daily tasks that are necessary to take care of my house, family, body, and commitments. My day isn’t full of speaking with kings or saving spies or meeting a kinsman redeemer. My day is wrought with ordinary tasks of faith. And I imagine the same is true of these lesser-known members on the family tree of Christ.
In these names, I want us to remember this: the call of faith is to everyday, ordinary tasks of faith. Tithing when it’s hard. Obedience when it’s painful. Prayer when it’s a discipline. Reconciliation when it costs us. Community when it’s uncomfortable. The call of the Christian life is not often one to radical or daring tasks, but to daily faithfulness.
This list of names reminds me that it doesn’t take an amazing testimony to be brought into the family of God. It just takes God. It was God who called each of these ordinary people to be a part of the family line He was bringing about, and by His grace He included each one of them in the process. It most likely wasn’t glamorous work, but daily obedience as they strove to follow God and obey Him in the smallest, most ordinary parts of their day.
What are some ordinary tasks of faith God has called you to?
How do you need to respond in obedience?
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God that He doesn’t just call the extraordinary, but average, ordinary people to be a part of His family. Thank Him for including you in His family through His Son, Jesus.