Writing in his blog, Kaleidoscope, at the beginning of the Advent season my friend Bob Withers called attention to the genealogy in Matthew Chapter 1. He pointed out how unusual it was that four women are mentioned, who, from a Jewish perspective had major negatives associated with them. Ruth was a Gentile, and the other three, Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba (listed as “the wife of Uriah”) had serious moral defects.
With that tidbit tucked away in the back of my mind, today I renewed my annual habit of reading through the entire Bible in a year. With a little extra time on my hands because of taking a day off, I was able to read Matthew’s first chapter slowly, and reflect on that genealogy. Not only do the above mentioned women appear, but it dawned on me these were the only women mentioned in Matthew’s list. Think about it: each of the men listed had a wife who was in the line of the Messiah. Matthew, however, records only these four women. Four women who had what we would today call “issues”. Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is highlighting these four to those who would read carefully.
Reading this passage slowly allowed me to notice and rejoice in the awesome fact that God chooses and uses people who are from a human standpoint the least exemplary. And what a great hope this is for all those like me who wouldn’t make anyone else’s list of notable persons.