Waiting on Hope – Day 1
Did you know that the first prophecy of the Messiah in the Bible mentions a woman? Throughout history, the Jewish people recognised this to be a prophecy pointing to the coming Messiah, the One who would save them and restore the kingdom of Israel. This prophecy was fulfilled in a young woman named Mary. But Mary was not the only woman who had a role to play in the prophecy.
Matthew 1 records the genealogy of Jesus and it is here we discover something surprising. In his genealogy, Matthew breaks with Jewish tradition and custom. The custom was to list the men in a person’s genealogy, never the women. But Matthew mentions the names of four other women in the genealogy of Jesus : Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.
Why would Matthew list Gentile women who had pasts that were less than perfect? Rahab was a woman out-of-bounds in Jewish society. Tamar pretended to be a woman out-of-bounds when her father-in-law Jacob approached her on the road. Bathsheba was involved with King David, and Ruth was from Moab, a cursed lot in the eyes of the Jewish people. None of these women would have been included in a perfect genealogy. And certainly not Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was only a teenager and single, unmarried, and became pregnant.
But as we see from this first messianic prophecy, God wanted to use women as part of His plan to restore humanity back to Himself. And especially unlikely women! Hope is not deterred. Hope is fulfilled in Jesus. It is a hope for all people. Jew or Gentile, the good enough and the down-and-outers. It’s a hope for every man or woman. Even for you.
Written by Bob Mendelsohn
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