The first book of the new testament is Matthew and the first chapter tells us how Jesus is a descendant of King David who is a descendant of Abraham.
Matthew 1:1-16 give us the genealogy of Jesus' ancestors. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, etc, etc.
It might seem kind of boring at repetitious at first, but there are extremely important lessons here. One extremely evident lesson here is that Jesus came to help and save everyone. In essence, he destroyed all barriers.
By accepting Jesus into your life you become part of Jesus' family.
1. Jesus destroyed the barrier between men and woman.
In the genealogy in Matthew 1:1-16, four women are named: Tamar, Ruth, Rahab and Mary.
Now this may not seem like a big deal in our time and culture, but 2000 years ago in Jerusalem it definitely was.
Woman were considered as property; first of her father then of the husband. They did not have rights to vote or anything like that. In fact men did not talk to woman in public. This was the first barrier that Jesus broke.
2. Jesus destroyed the barrier between Jew and Gentile.
In Romans 1:16, Paul says that salvation is for everyone. But some thought that the Good News of Christ was for the Jews.
But Jesus made it clear that it doesn't matter if your Jewish or not. In the genealogy of Matthew 1, many of Jesus' ancestors were not Jewish.
Ruth is a great example as she was from Moab. Rahab was from the city of Jericho. Jesus' family members consisted of women and non Jews. This is good news for us.
3. Jesus broke down the barrier between saint and sinner.Romans 5:8 tells us that Christ loves us in spite of all of our sins and shortcomings. Throughout His teachings Jesus showed us that He will forgive us if we ask.
The Bible is very honest. It doesn't hide the fact that many of Jesus' ancestors did some pretty scummy things. For instance...
- Jacob tricked his father into giving him his brother's birthright.
- Rahab was a prostitute.
- King David committed adultery and then murdered the husband
- King Solomon condoned the worshiping of false gods
These are things you would normally see in a family tree. In most royal family histories things like these would probably be erased.
But Jesus wants to make it clear for us today, that he forgives our sins and will forget our past. And He will still loves us and welcome us with open arms.