Has Your Family Held You Back?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham . . .

Matthew 1:1

From our point of view, the beginning of Matthew's Gospel seems oddly uninspiring. Why not begin with Old Testament prophecy, as did Mark? Or with a statement of purpose, like Luke? Or even with Jesus' divine origin, like John? Why does Matthew list the ancestors of Jesus, a passage that, if we're honest, we're tempted to skip over altogether?

From a theological point of view, the ancestry of Jesus connects him with God's saving activity in the Old Testament era. Jesus is a descendant of Abraham, with whom God had a covenant to bless him and all nations through him. Jesus is also related to King David. Thus he is a rightful heir to the Davidic throne.

Matthew's inclusion of Jesus' family origins also reminds us that family matters. Who we are is determined greatly by our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. Family identifies us in the world, influences our values, and gives us a sense of belonging.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: To what extent do you see yourself as part of an extended family? How has your ancestry influenced you? How has it empowered you? How has it limited you?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I think of the ancestors of Jesus, I remember today that I am the product of my parents and all who went before them. In so very many ways, I am a Roberts and a Williams, a Tolenen and a Smith, and so on and so on.

I want to thank you, Lord, for those who raised me and so profoundly influenced me, my parents and my grandparents. Thank you even for those who went before them. Thank you for their commitment and sacrifice. Thank you for their love and faith.

Beyond this, gracious God, thank you that I have been adopted into your family. How wonderful it is to be your child and your heir! All praise be to you, Heavenly Father! Amen.