At Hope and Magnolia churches, we began a new series called “Awkward Family Christmas.” On the Sunday’s leading up to Christmas, we’ll be looking at some of the people in Jesus’ genealogy found in Matthew 1 and consider the “awkward” circumstances of their lives and consider that if they are part of Jesus’ family tree, then there is room for you and me!
Faith. We hear the word all the time in the church. We know we should have faith in God, but there are times when we find faith hard to come by. We can allow fear, anxiety, and our own sin and brokenness to limit our faith.
One of the remarkable people in Jesus’ family tree found in Matthew 1 is the person of Rahab. She was a foreigner and she is known as a prostitute. Not necessarily what you’d tell the great grandkids about. But at a time when the rest of the city of Jericho was “melting in fear” because of the advancing armies of Israel (more importantly, fear about the God of the Israelites)- Rahab found faith. She confessed her faith to the two spies who stayed at her home,
“When we it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:11
Rahab in the midst of fear about Israel advancing on Jericho found faith in God and became part of the people of Israel. Matthew states that she was the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David- and a relative of Jesus the Messiah.
Faith comes in unexpected places.
Rahab’s life was transformed through this profession of faith: going from a prostitute to a direct relative of Jesus. If Rahab is included in Jesus’ family tree, with her sinfulness, then there is room for you and me. In fact, Rahab was included in the “Hall of Faith” listed in Hebrews 11:31,
“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
As we wait this Advent and Christmas season for the coming of Christ, it may be through a simple confession of faith that our lives are transformed through Jesus Christ, our Savior. It is our faith in Jesus the move us forward into action in the world. It is our faith in Jesus that transforms us into new creations through Jesus our Lord.