Saturday, 3rd Week of Advent

The long list of names we read in today’s gospel, some so unfamiliar  and hard to pronounce, has a purpose. Matthew and Luke do more in their genealogies than trace the Jewish ancestry of Jesus back as far as they can. The evangelists want to show to their gentile and Jewish readers that he has worldwide roots; he’s not just a Jewish Messiah.

His ancestors were exiles in Babylon as well as members of successive Jewish dynasties in Palestine. He had foreign blood from women like Tamar, Ruth and Bathsheba, all of whom have something questionable about them. Tamar became a prostitute to win Judah’s favor; Ruth honored many gods, Bathsheba was sexually involved with King David.

In his humanity, Jesus did not come only from Jewish royalty and a perfect ancestry. His roots are in all humanity; he has the blood of saints and sinners. He shares our DNA. He comes from all of us.

The readings are here.

2 thoughts on “Saturday, 3rd Week of Advent

  1. Susan

    Let’s not forget Rahab, the woman who saved Joshua’s spies before the siege at Jericho. She acknowledged that “…the Lord, your God, is God in heaven above and on earth below.” Tamar deceived Judah to compel him to fulfill her legal right and to keep his promise; he acknowledged that “she is more in the right than I am… .” I think the oath Ruth made to Naomi that she would leave her country and its pagan worship to stay with her is beautiful, especially the part that says “your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” In reading about Bathsheba, I wonder if she had any say it what happened to her once King David sent for her; how could she refuse the King? When King David is dying, and another of his sons seeks to claim the throne, Bathsheba visits the king and says to him: “My lord, you swore to me your handmaid by the Lord, your God, that my son Solomon should reign after you and sit upon your throne.” She later becomes the Queen Mother, with a throne of her own.

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