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Monday, December 17, 2007

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Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:1-17

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meet your folks

"Listen to Israel, your father." —Genesis 49:2

When a young man falls in love and gets serious about a young woman, the time soon comes to bring her home to meet his family. Often this is a time of some anxiety. His worst fear might be: I'm afraid she'll leave me because she doesn't like my folks.

Jesus is the Groom (Mk 2:19) and we are the prospective bride. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus introduces His ancestors before we get serious about our relationship with Him. It's as if He is saying that we won't be able to love Him unless we also love His family.

Imagine Jesus bringing you home to introduce you to His ancestors: "Come in! First, I'd like you to meet Jacob (Mt 1:2), a master deceiver (Gn 27:5ff). Next, I want you to meet Judah and Tamar (Mt 1:3). They aren't married, and conceived their son through prostitution (Gn 38:18). In this room, I'd like you to meet another prostitute, Rahab (Mt 1:5; Jos 2:1). Now here's a wonderful lady, Ruth (Mt 1:5). We had to go outside of the immediate family to find a worthy one like her (Ru 1:4). Over here is one of my favorites, David (Mt 1:6), a man after My Father's heart. Well, he did have a child through adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sm 11:4), and he did kill her husband and many others. Meet Solomon (Mt 1:7), the wise one of My family. He set a world record for lust, and his son Rehoboam (Mt 1:7) caused a civil war (1 Kgs 11:4; 12:13ff). Did you get to meet Manasseh? (Mt 1:10) He'd fit right in with today's 'culture of death' (see 2 Kgs 21:16)..."

Will you decide to walk out on Jesus? Or do you love Him enough to stay and love those He loves (1 Jn 4:20-21). Then He will adopt you into His family (Mk 3:34-35).

Prayer:  Father, I love all of Your children, the family You have redeemed through my older Brother Jesus.

Promise:  "Justice shall flower in His days." —Ps 72:7

Praise:  "O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care. Come and show Your people the way to salvation."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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