Matthew 1:1-6: 1 This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham : 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).
In the book of Matthew, the story of the birth of Jesus begins with a record of His genealogy. If you are like me, it can be easy to bypass this part of the Christmas story. In fact, whenever I see a genealogy listed in the bible, it can be easy for me to speed right through it. But I want you to notice something about this genealogy today.
Let’s look at verse 6 and ask a question. Why would Matthew mention Bathsheba, and why would he mention that she was the widow of Uriah? Why not just list Solomon and move on to the next name on the list? To answer, let’s do a quick little summary of the events surrounding Solomon’s birth.
While David was king of Israel and while he was at home in his palace, he happened to catch a glimpse of Bathsheba (who was not his wife). He was moved with lust and, because he was king, sent for her and slept with her. Later, David found out that she had become pregnant and that her husband Uriah is off fighting the Philistines as a member of King David’s army. In an effort to cover up what David has done, he sent for Uriah and encouraged him to go home and be with his wife so that, hopefully, he would sleep with her and everyone would think the baby was his. But Uriah was so devoted to king David that he refused to go home while the rest of the army was off fighting the battle. So David decided to put out a hit on Uriah. He told his army commander to put Uriah at the front of the battle lines and had him killed.
Later, God sent the prophet Nathan to David to let him know just what a terrible thing he has done. David realized the error of his ways, was truly broken-hearted and asked God for forgiveness. God is so merciful that he forgave David but as a punishment for his sin, the baby born to him died. However, the Lord is not done with David and Bathsheba; he comforted them by allowing Bathsheba to give birth to another son, Solomon, whom the Lord loved.
Now, David had plenty of wives and other children. So why would God choose Solomon, son of Bathsheba, to be the one who was the ancestor to Jesus Christ? And what does this have to do with us this Christmas?
This Christmas, God wants to show us that He is not just the God of perfect people or people who have never done anything wrong. He is the God of the broken, the shameful, the sinner. Solomon, son of Bathsheba and part of this terrible scandal would be an ancestor of Jesus. So, this Christmas, don’t believe the lie that anything you have done keeps you from the love of God. There is no sin so great that God cannot forgive, for those who are truly repentant. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18). This Christmas, let’s thank God for His mercy and love. And let’s go tell people of the hope they can have in Jesus and in the grace of God.
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