Friday 15 November 2013

17 December - Season of Advent

Family trees. Each and every one of us has a family tree. Some of us have managed to trace our family tree right to the earliest times. Some have only been partially successful. But one thing we may discover about our family tree is this: our ancestors were a mixed bag of good and not so good people. Each of our ancestors (nenek-moyang, as some like to say in Bahasa Malaysia) had their strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, when we look at our family tree, we begin to realise and appreciate those who had paved the way to who and what we are today.

Today's Gospel introduces us to Jesus' family tree. This family tree is divided into 3 lists of 14: 14 patriarchs; 14 kings; and 14 generations from the Babylonian captivity to Jesus. Within each list, there were good and bad persons, showing us that God does not choose those who are the best from the human point of view, but from God's point of view.

We can also see that 4 women are included, 3 of whom are named: Tamar, Rahab and Ruth. Bathsheba is not named but mentioned as “Uriah’s wife.” These 4 women were Gentiles either by birth or through marriage. Tamar, Rahab and Ruth were Gentiles by birth. Bathsheba, an Israelite, became Gentile through her marriage to Uriah, the Hittite. This shows that Jesus had Gentile as well as Jewish ancestors.

When we see Jesus' family tree, we begin to realise and appreciate God's plan of salvation for all of us. Regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile, saint or sinner; God can write straight with crooked lines and some of those crooked lines are our lives. As long as we are open to His pruning and guidance, we can be a part of God's plan. Let us then rise, and walk in His ways.

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