With new technology, searching family ancestry is becoming increasingly popular. Many people, our family included, found a few surprises in their family trees.
And many people would be surprised to learn about some of the members of Jesus’ family tree. Matthew lists forty fathers, but he also includes five mothers, each one bringing an interesting mix to Jesus’ ancestry, people that would not be expected in a royal lineage.
Rahab is one unexpected woman in the line of Jesus.
Almost every time she is mentioned, her occupation is mentioned with her name. Rahab, the harlot. Rahab, the prostitute. How glad I am that there isn’t a “the ____” after my name! Aren’t you?
Her story in Joshua 2 and 6 dramatically tells the story of how she hid the Israeli spies in Jericho, setting the stage for the famous city wall drop.
In her conversation with the spies, she declares, “for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Because of her faith in the God of Israel, and because of the action she took in protecting the spies from the authorities in Jericho, she and her family were saved from destruction.
Rahab was a harlot, a sinner, but she was also a woman of faith. She demonstrated faith in action, and James uses her as an example when he declared that faith without works is dead. Her faith was alive and well. Paul says that we while are saved by grace through faith, that we are created to do good works.
Many people think that Rahab was saved because she hid the spies.
The truth is Rahab hid the spies because she was saved.
Rahab also beautifully demonstrates my favorite Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. It’s my favorite because of four words: “God and sinner reconciled.”
Reconciliation with God – that’s what Christmas is all about.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Col 1:19-20
Christmas isn’t so much about a weak swaddled baby in a manger. It’s about the bigger picture. Christmas is about the cross. And about the resurrection. The Gospels share only four chapters about Jesus’ birth compared to twenty-seven chapters about His last week on earth. We don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth, but we do know the exact date of His death.
The angels declaration to the shepherds echoed Rahab’s. “Glory to God IN THE HIGHEST… AND ON EARTH, peace, good will toward men!”
God in heaven, who the universe cannot contain, came to our tiny planet out of His great love for us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
As we go about our days this week, it’s so easy to get caught up in the to-do’s, in relationship issues, in a host of things that steal our attention from the big picture. I pray that you will be able to keep your focus on the big picture and then you will experience the peace He came to bring.
Here is a link to my message which shares more about Rahab and her link to the Christmas story.
For a children’s book that tells the WHOLE Christmas story (including the cross and resurrection), please check out my book Mary had a little Lamb. The book also includes talking points and myth-busters for parents to make Christmas more meaningful. More resources are at www.maryhadalittlelamb.net.
- His Humble Coming
- Celebrating Jesus’ Birth