Genealogy and Grace: December 16

Advent Guide Cover - 2017

It is probably a safe bet to say that you have never done a careful study of Genesis chapter 5. In the same way, not many people get excited about the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles. Genealogies tend to be dull and noted more for their impossible-to-pronounce names than anything else. (Hazarmaveth? Elioenia?) But the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 is important not only because it proves his messianic heritage, but because it is loaded with stories of God’s unpredictable ways of choosing and blessing who would play critical roles in the generations leading to the Savior.

Bonus: Two songs in one week? Only because we are reading about genealogy, and this song it too good not to share. Enjoy. “Matthew’s Begats”

READ

  • Matthew 1:1-17
  • Watch for the Light, 156-164

REFLECT

  1. Have you ever slowed down to carefully read and consider all the names in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1? If not, how has today’s reading helped you think differently about those obscure characters from the Old Testament?
  2. How do you draw encouragement from noticing who is God included in the listing of Jesus’ ancestors? Whose story in that list do you relate to more from your experience? A faithful, steady saint? A scandalous schemer? Or maybe an unremarkable nobody, a wallflower in the pages of Scripture?
  3. Today’s reading ends in this way (164), “Jesus called Peter and Paul… Paul called Timothy… someone called you…” who are you calling? Who do you need to begin praying for, or with whom are you looking for an opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus?”

RESPOND

Praise the Lord for giving grace people we would never choose to be part of his story, and thank him for pouring grace on you as well.

DOUBLE BONUS – FALSE TEACHING ALERT!
Did you pick up on the blatant false teaching in today’s reading? If so, well done. We always want to read with careful discernment, weighing anyone’s words against the standard of truth we find in the Bible. In the middle of page 160, Godwin suggests that the two accounts of the Advent in the gospels cannot be reconciled and perhaps should not be taken as historically accurate. The truth is that pastors and scholars have shown the harmony of these accounts for years and Scripture time and again shows itself to be a faithful and accurate record of human history. For an inspiring and insightful treatment of the different Christmas stories, take a look at Andreas Kostenberger’s “The First Days of Jesus.” For a relatively short interview explaining the historical reliability of Scripture, check out this interview with Craig Blomberg.

 

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