Jesus’ birth foretold: Matthew 1: 1-17, Luke 1
A number of years ago my son and I visited a very distant relative, who had researched our family tree on my father’s side. He had put aside a whole room for his work, which was displayed on the walls and we went on to have a very interesting afternoon as he talked about what he had discovered about the family. As we left, he presented us with a hand-written family tree, going back to 1718. Some interesting facts, no royal line (as far as he had discovered – shame!!), one known scoundrel, but most just ordinary folks. He told us that he had gone back a few more years, but information was more sketchy. No comparison with the one found in Matthew 1, which has 42 generations clearly marked out leading to the promised one, Jesus!
Not everyone is able to trace back their history. Perhaps your origins were very sketchy or even unknown. You may not know your parents for many different reasons. Maybe you were born and unwanted, or have a dark past with a history of family addictions or abuse. But this doesn’t have to continue. When we put our trust in Jesus, all this can be put behind us. The line is drawn underneath our past because we are made new in him and have been adopted into His family (Eph 1 v 5, Romans 8 v 14 – 15). In Him, there is no condemnation; no shame in his house! In Mary’s words in Luke 1 verse 50; ‘His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.’
When Jesus was born, he gave us a way to be reconciled to Him. The One who knew us before we were born has a plan and purpose for us. The One who knows our past and everything in it, yet still loves us and wants us to be in His family. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See. I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43 v 18 – 19.
Father, thank you so much that Jesus was the fulfilment of God’s promise, making a way for us to be in your family. This Christmas season, may we put away the things in our past which may be keeping us in the ‘wasteland’, and rejoice with Mary in praise of “the Mighty One (who) has done great things for us”!!
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