In these days that we’re currently enduring, when it seems like everything we thought we knew is turned upside down, the reading Jesus’ genealogy in Luke is a welcome reminder that history is anything but random. Each generation leading up to Jesus was important, as key individuals became subtle agents to move along God’s Story. This glorious thread that runs throughout the centuries is the march of redemptive history, the bigger truth behind every family photo down into our day.
Sadly, the god of this world is relentless in its desire to genericize the name of Jesus, to demote him as just another in a long line of influential religious figures. Gratefully, Dr. Luke says not so fast, and like some glorious time machine in just a few verses, he marches us backwards in time through the generational line of our Lord Jesus. Names from the inter-testamental period – some familiar, some not – quickly give way to the times of Israel’s resettling from the diaspora, then backwards we go to the Babylonian captivity, to the glory days of David and Solomon, to the conquest of Canaan, to the wilderness experience, and into the early chapters of Genesis, all the way back to Adam, and to God Himself, who began it all.
What is the obvious conclusion? What does Luke have in mind? Simply this, that all along through the march of history, God’s bigger purposes, the Grand Story, has been unfolding. Is God discouraged? Never! He can take an aging single man such as Boaz and marry him to a gentile refugee named Ruth, to keep the line of Jesus going, all while putting a smile on grandmother Naomi’s face. Nothing confounds him. He is Lord of all, and Lord over all.
As Randall Gruendyke preaches on this amazing list of names this coming Sunday, may we be reminded that God is still at it – building a forever family, and adopting us into it, giving us full rights and privileges as sons and daughters. And may we rejoice in this truth.