I know, it’s hard to believe that woman are included as an important part of the story of the birth of Jesus.
After all isn’t the Bible super concerned about keeping women in their place?
Well, actually it’s more concerned with the equality of all way more than people realize.
If you look at the story of Christmas according to the Bible and more specifically according to Matthew, there is an incredible thing the happens in the midst of the first few opening lines.
Matthew starts the story of the birth of Jesus by going through the genealogy of Jesus. There are a couple different reasons why he would do this and things he’s trying to point out as he opens his book. But the thing I’m most interested in is the inclusion of women in his genealogy.
This would have been strange and weird at this time because the women in this time and place didn’t really matter. They were often viewed as some sort of property and really had no rights of their own. In general, they had no place in society other than to make the food and to make the babies.
So the fact that Matthew mentions 4 of them is incredible.
The big question being ….
What is he up to?
When you look at the women they are from all over the spectrum of people. Between the 4 of them (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba), the assortment is anything but ordinary.
They are both Jew and Gentile.
They are both sinner and saint.
They are the marginalized, the oppressed, and dwell in the shadows of society.
And Yet, they’re all included in the family of the one who would become the savior of all.
In each of their stories these women face great odds and obstacles and yet they each show they are filled with courage in a way that is important to the coming of the Messiah.
While each of their stories is important and contains a great deal of significance in and of themselves the thing that stands out to me is what the sum of these stories of these women convey to us about the kingdom that Jesus is coming to establish.
Paul talks about the kingdom of Jesus in Galatians 3 when he talks about all are one in Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
The kingdom is a place for all.
The kingdom is a place for unity.
The kingdom is a place for oneness.
In Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus we see all of the categories listed by Paul and then some.
Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, righteous and unrighteous, rich and poor, powerful and powerless.
So what then is the point?
The point is that as we move into the Christmas season and we celebrate the birth of Jesus and we examine the kind of kingdom he came to establish the better we understand the coming kingdom the more hope we have.
The story of these woman being included in the lineage of Jesus shows us…..
The path to the savior of all, includes all, on the way to the savior.
What a beautiful thought that Jesus came to rescue ALL things. All People. All creation.
The lineage and genealogy of Jesus is a testament to his mission to rescue and redeem all people.
Now that’s good news.
Our hope should abound all the more with the understanding that the inclusive and ever-expanding nature of the kingdom was established and first played out in the very family through which the Savior was brought forth.
His family is a testament to the mission he was on.
How cool is that?