Matthew and the Shady Women

Posted: November 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Matthew was a Jew trying to make a case to other Jews.  Therefore, the first chapter’s genealogy that we tend to want to skip over was actually a very important document for establishing his case for the Jewish-ness and lineage of Jesus.  His recitation of the “begats” is unique, however, in that it includes 4 women.  This is strange.  Women were not generally included in genealogies (in fact, a common morning prayer for Jewish men expressed gratitude that God had not made him a Gentile, a slave or a woman.) You would think that if Matthew was trying to make a legitimate and legal case with the Jews, he would do it their way.  However, the women are very interesting:  Tamar (became pregnant by her father-in-law, Judah), Rahab (prostitute), Ruth (and woman and a Gentile) and Bathsheba (cause of David’s moral failure).  Isn’t that such an intriguing list?  Each one faced fear and failure and yet managed to find her way into the messianic family tree.  When viewed from the perspective of a guy like Matthew, who was called out of a life of sin and shame to follow Jesus, this list almost screams, “There’s hope for anyone!” Even Rahab, even Bathsheba, even Matthew…even Bo.

All these people had a little time to make an eternal impact and – though the odds were stacked against them – they still did it.  So encouraging!  I’m just amazed when the littlest things pack such a big punch.  I love that I can make a difference…a difference in my genealogy, in my descendants…my legacy.  I love that I have been chosen by the God of every second chance.

Seeing my name between the lines,


  1. Bre says:

    Shady women, sneaky guys, boy, how many times do those descriptors seem to be deal breakers when we choose people in our lives, like who to marry, who to be friends with, who to reach out to in a time of need. Sad but true. So as I move further into the discomfort zone myself and allow God to heal me from myself and the impact of this world, I will be more intentional at reaching out to the lost, otherwise they might not have a chance to make a difference in their genealogy or legacy. Onward I go, Obey more and fear less.

  2. Katie says:

    Reading Matthew’s genealogy is always one of my favorites! It’s always amazing to me, year after year, that God included these four women – and especially these four! I mean, why not Sarah or Josiah’s wife? I know it’s silly, but every year I wonder – will they still be there? Will there still be such blatant evidence that I, a really messed up woman, can be part of something miraculous?

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