Genealogies — you know, the long list of names in the Bible you normally skip over — can feel a little tedious and useless. Yet, after over 400 years of God’s silence, the first words of the New Testament are a genealogy. God is finally speaking to His people, and it’s a list of names?
These are to remind God’s people of His promises from the Old Testament that a Savior would come from the line of David.
Like normal genealogies, Matthew includes fathers and sons, but when you look closer, this list of names has one distinct difference. Five in particular stand out: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary — all women.
Value of women
Not only is the inclusion of women in a genealogy unusual, but these particular women are unique. One might expect them to be leaders in their community or have unique skill sets. After all, they are in the line of Jesus. Perhaps they were philanthropists or highly intelligent, ingenious women. Maybe that’s why they’re mentioned in the genealogy of the Savior of the world.
No! Here God goes against our limited and shortsighted human expectations, mentioning women who not only had poor reputations but could have been considered scandalous. In this five-part series, we will take a closer look at these women, diving deeper into their stories. We will see that each has qualities Jesus demonstrated in His life and ministry. Their lives are a testament to God’s mercy and redemption, and a foreshadowing of the value Jesus Himself placed on women.
Up first: Tamar.