Graceful Bloodlines

From Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.

In the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Holy One, You are
intentional in highlighting five women. In a list of men,
through whom the bloodlines would be officially traced,
You insist on mentioning these women. Though the language
does not dwell on them or seem to call undue
attention to them, their very mention is like writing their
names in neon lights.

• “Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by
Tamar” (Matthew 1:3).

• “Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab”
(Matthew 1:5).

• “Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth”
(Matthew 1:5).

• “David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s
wife” (Matthew 1:6).

• “Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of
Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is
called the Messiah” (Matthew 1:16).

Embedded in the Christmas story, eternally linked to its
telling, five particular women are noted. Each has this
in common with the others: She is not a likely character
to be put out on display and touted as part of the
ancestry of Messiah. She is not famous like Sarah or
Rachel. Excluding Mary, these women are flawed,
either in character or bloodline.

Ruth was a Moabite, so her lineage should have excluded her. Tamar, Rahab,
and Uriah’s wife each had her own scandal. Mary was a young peasant girl of no particular distinction. Yet, here they are, singled out for the distinctive honor of being
mentioned in the genealogy of the Messiah.

In the gene pool of the Word made flesh, grace is a
dominant gene. John 1:16–17 reads, “Indeed, we have
all received grace after grace from His fullness, for
although the law was given through Moses, grace and
truth came through Jesus Christ.”

Born again into Your bloodline, grace flows to me, through me, and from me.
Jesus Christ, Son of God, let the grace that I receive out of Your fullness spill out in torrents of grace to those around me.

When I am tempted to hide or disguise the circumstances in my life when grace was
most evident against the background of my sin, let me instead point to my failures to say, “Look what grace did!” Let me tout the history of Your grace in my life
without shame.

About Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Author and speaker
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