Summer is the time for reunions. A chance to see your extended family & adore the new cousins who have been born since the last reunion, adding to the family tree. This picture was from our reunion in 2005. We used to have a tee shirt color for each of the sisters' families. You can see who has kept up with their color :-)
Why does Matthew start chapter 1 with a family tree in his gospel? Is it important to know all of those names we can't pronounce? I think 4 of them are significant, they're in verses 3, 5 & 6. Have you noticed there are 4 women mentioned? Everything I've read about women in the first century says that they didn't have much of a role in society. And at least 3 of the women mentioned are Gentiles! Rahab was the prostitute from Jericho & Ruth was from Moab. Moabites were not allowed to enter the assembly of the Lord (Dt 23:3). Tamar's story is told in Genesis 38 & it is worse than anything you would see on a TV soap opera. These women were a part of the line of Jesus. Think of Mt 1:1-16 as Jesus' family reunion photo. He doesn't try to hide those women like you might a crazy uncle who you hope doesn't get into the picture. Why would God have Matthew include these women in this genealogy? Maybe because God wants us to know that He used people like that to save the world. And if He can use those women, then He can use me, regardless of what my past is like. Isn't that good news?