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The Perfect Messiah's Imperfect Lineage

The Messianic line was not a perfect line yet it was from Judah. Genesis 49:8-10 says, "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren will praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion, who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." I always asked myself, "Why did Judah become the lineage of the Messiah?" I soon read the Bible to find my answers, I soon listened to Bible teaching to learn the answers and it was all bordered on God's grace that saves the sinner from sin. The imperfect lineage leading to the perfect Messiah shows God's power over sin and that salvation from sin is not by human effort but by His grace.

Judah was not really perfect but the birthright was by grace. We realize that Reuben, Simeon and Levi were older than Judah but they lost the right. Reuben slept with one of his father's wives Bilhah (Genesis 35:22) so he lost that birthright. Simeon and Levi murdered several Shechemites (Genesis 35:30-31) so they lost the birthright. But we also read of Judah's most unfortunate encounter with Tamar (Genesis 38:15-30) who happened to be his daughter-in-law, this was a very sin of illicit sex which soon led him to confess that she was more "righteous" than him because he didn't give her over to Shelah. Tamar had two dead husbands (Er and Onan), Judah made a mistake by marrying a Canaanite woman and later, he would end up having illicit sex with Tamar who was also a Canaanite where from that relationship both Pharez and Zerah were born. Matthew 1:1-6 and Luke 3:31-33 shows Judah is part of that lineage. Abraham Isaac, Jacob then Judah. Judah was not so pure considering he also suggested to sell Joseph for twenty pieces of silver, later His descendant Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver aside from his incest with Tamar. Now we have the next lineage of Pharez from whom the Messianic line came from. Succeeding Phares, we have the next generations as Esrom, Aram, Aminadab, Naashon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed and Jesse which is nine generations. Deuteronomy 23:2 declares that the bastard shall not enter the congregation until the tenth. Pharez was a bastard born out of illicit sex between father-in-law and daughter-in-law then the curse was removed from David who was the tenth generation.

Now we can see the power of the saving grace when it came to two other women who didn't have a good start. Salmon himself married the Canaanite named Rahab who was termed as "the harlot". Rahab should have been finished off but she soon had a new leaf when she made a covenant with Israel. The second chapter of Joshua also shows how she knew only God could save her. Earlier, God said that all the Canaanites were to be wiped out for their wickedness but Rahab was spared. Even better, she became a decent woman and married Salmon and had a child named Boaz. Boaz would play an important part because of the Book of Ruth. Now Ruth was a Moabite. Do you remember the incest Lot had with his daughters? Genesis 19:30-38 we read of the disgusting incest that the two daughters had with the father after they thought it was a worldwide destruction. I don't know how his daughters must have felt after the realized they were wrong but one thing was sure, it gave birth to two wicked nations Moab and Ammon. Ruth being a Moabite came from a cursed lineage (Deuteronomy 23:3) yet God worked through her anyway when she married Boaz. In legality, Boaz was to raise seed for the late Elimelech as a kinsman redeemer but biologically, the child Ruth bore is the grandson of Salmon and Rahab. Rahab the Canaanite redeemed by God soon had a Moabite daughter-in-law also redeemed by God.

We also see another immoral affair that was part of the lineage. In 2 Samuel 11, we read the unfortunate affair of David with Bathsheba, a woman young enough to be his daughter. He may have been in his forties or he was most likely fifty years old having had several sons and daughters considering that his sons were fully grown when they rebelled, while Solomon may have still been a child when all the chaos happened. We read that David slept with the wife of one of his mighty men, Uriah the Hittite with how he was almost ruined. After David and Bathsheba's first child was born, the child died in infancy but a year later, something changed after he wrote Psalm 51. David's second son with Bathsheba was Solomon but there was more than one son. We read the genealogies of Matthew and Luke are different considering we read one of Joseph's and the other was Mary's. Joseph came from lineage of Solomon.

Solomon wasn't a very great king either as what he did, he undid when he had his 999 other wives and Rehoboam's mother was Naamah an Ammonite woman which his descendants only ruled Judah and Benjamin while Jeroboam ruled the other ten tribes. After Rehoboam (who later repented) we had Abijah who died prematurely and only reigned for three years. Abijah was born out of Rehoboam and Maacah was the daughter of Absalom a half-brother of Solomon, in short Rehoboam married his half-cousin which may explain why Abijah may have not lived long. Then we have Abijah to Asa (who deposed Maacah his grandmother for idolatry) who brought reforms to Judah. Jehoshaphat was a good reformer but he made the worst mistake by making an ungodly alliance with Ahab by having his eldest son Jehoram marry one of Ahab's children namely Athaliah. Jehoshaphat's reforms were undid by his son Jehoram and his rule only for one year grandson Ahaziah. After Ahaziah died, Athaliah tried to end the Lineage of David by attempting to kill everyone then Joash was born but the reforms didn't last either. Joash foolishly had Zechariah slain after giving in to peer pressure then he was succeeded by Amaziah. Amaziah fell into idolatry then he was succeeded by Jotham. Jotham did right but his lack of concern brought Ahaz a very wicked king. After Ahaz came righteous Hezekiah then we have Mannaseh who undid what his father did. Even after Manasseh repented, we had a two year wicked reign by Amon who was succeeded by Josiah. Josiah was a righteous boy king who was better than Joash but had no godly successors. One of Josiah's sons namely Jeconiah got the curse that none of his sons would sit down on the throne (Jeremiah 24:22-30) which posed a bit of a problem if the Messiah should come from David. I guess that's why Jesus' maternal half-brothers and half-sisters didn't believe in Him as a result of the curse on Jeconiah since they were biologically cursed.

We have the lineage of Mary was also from David. If Jesus was to be the Seed of a woman (virgin birth) and the Seed of David, Mary was the answer. There was the legal right through Joseph who was termed as Jesus' foster father. Mary's family line also came all the way from King David but on which side? If you read Luke 3:31-33 when we read that Mary is the descendant of David by Nathan who was one of David's sons with Bathsheba. So Mary was still a descendant of David and Bathsheba. Why David named one of his sons by Bathsheba as Nathan may have been because it was that the prophet Nathan who not only rebuked David but also named Solomon as Jedidah or perhaps, Nathan was an important adviser of David. Jesus was naturally King through Mary and legally through Joseph. Through Mary, he was born the Seed of the Woman and the Seed of David. By Joseph, he was legally the Seed of David in order to fulfill Genesis 3:15. Mary was not sinless either and she knew she needed a Savior (Luke 1:47) and I believe she knew she was also from the line of David and so was Joseph. Mary would later offer a sin offering because she was a sinner who needed a Savior (Luke 2:22-24). She was not sinless as she was only a sinner saved by grace.

If Mary wasn't sinless then how could Jesus be without sin? While one can say, "That is a miracle." well it's a miracle that He was conceived in a sinner saved by grace without sin. Jesus is the Seed of the Woman. Romans 5:14-17 declares the sad truth that by one man sin came into the world. The blame fell on Adam because he was in charge of Eve so the curse came from Adam meaning that the sin nature came from the earthly father, not the earthly mother. Jesus being the Seed of the Woman or a virgin birth would make Him sinless because Joseph was not His biological father, God is His biological father. John 3:16 declares that for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Everything was planned by God from the beginning that the Son should be conceived by a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) which allowed a sinless, holy child by God's grace. Considering that Mary was to conceive by the Holy Spirit by a miraculous birth, God's intervention would have allowed the Son to be conceived as a man yet without sin because it's God's amazing grace. No matter how hard a couple lives a good life, they cannot have a sinless child but it was only by God's grace that Mary had a virgin birth and a sinless child because Jesus Christ is God the Son. Mary got pregnant not by natural means but by supernatural means which also explains Jesus Christ became man yet without sin. Mary did not need to be sinless as Roman Catholics claim so Jesus can be without sin.

The imperfections also shows the grace of God. No matter how righteous certain people were they could not help but sire wicked heirs. David had wicked, unsaved sons like Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah. We see that David wept because Absalom was not a saved man. As mentioned earlier, David also had unrighteous descendants like Jehoram, Ahaziah, Ahaz, Ammon, Jeconiah and Zedekiah were wicked kings. If we read through the righteous men in the Messianic line, remember that all men today are Seth's descendants. Seth was Abel's righteous replacement yet many today are not Cain's descendants but they follow Cain's way. All men today are descendants of Methuselah and Noah but most laugh at Methuselah's message and follow the path of Nimrod's rebellion in the Tower of Babel. Shem was a righteous son of Noah but also from him came other evil heathen civilization like through Lot's incest he became the ancestor of the Moabites and the Ammonites, by Abraham's sin of adultery with Hagar (a descendant of Ham) he became the father of the Arabs and he also became the father of the Midianites via Abraham. The whole issue was not about one's relationship with a righteous man as we're all descendants of Seth and Adam but many follow the path of Cain and Nimrod because they are not saved. What is important is not all about being related to a righteous person but your own personal righteousness. Many of the Jews believed that they were saved because of their relation to Abraham and the promise made down from Isaac and Jacob but Jesus called them as children of the Devil (John 8:44). Luke 13:28 warns that many of the Jews will die in their sins and what a pain to see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob over in Heaven while they burn in Hell like the rich man in Luke 16:19-31.

Even if Jesus was not born on December 25 and no man knows when He was truly born, yet He is that Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). December 25 in some parts of the world was used to celebrate the birthday of a pagan deity but the virgin birth of Christ defeated every pagan deity regardless of when their birthday was. December 25 was a pagan day but it can be redeemed for Christ for soulwinning, giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to announce this Son who was born to die for the sins of man. There is nothing wrong to celebrate the virgin birth of Christ even if there was really no specific date. Every Christian can do away with the worldly notion of Christmas and in with honoring Christ not only on Christmas but all year round. In remembering the virgin birth, the message of Christmas is this, "You are not basically good. You are a sinner headed for Hell and you deserve nothing but Hell because you broke the Law. James 2:10-11 says you couldn't keep the whole Law. Romans 3:10-23 says all men are guilty before God and none is innocent before him. Christmas is not for the nice because we have all been naughty. We all deserve to be in the naughty list, nobody has been nice by God's standards. The message is in Matthew 1:21 is that He the Lord Jesus Christ shall save His people from their sins. Only He can put you from naughty to nice. That is the message that His birth was necessary because you are a dirty old sinner who needs forgiveness and redemption."

See also:

The Claims of Jesus to the Throne of David Both Legal and Bloodline
Why a Virgin Birth?

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