This is the genealogyof Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. Matthew 1:1-6
In my family, today is a milestone. Twenty-five years ago today, my father, Kenneth Terry, died. He died of cancer and, in his dying months, exhibited courage that was an inspiring example for all of us who knew and loved him. So much has changed in the past quarter-century, and I still find myself, almost every day, wishing I could have just a few minutes to talk with him, tell him about his great grandkids, and all that’s happened in life, and so much more. Someday, in heaven, we’ll do just that.
One thing I’ve come to cherish more in these 25 years is where he came from. Specifically, who he came from, and who (on both sides of my family) were the people in our family line who came before me. I don’t know of any famous people (at least none anyone would know about outside the family) on Dad’s side, though there are a few on my Mom’s; we’ll save that for another time. Certainly there aren’t any people with the fame of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Judah, Boaz, Ruth, Jesse, or King David.
But here’s the catch: they don’t have to be famous. Everybody comes from somebody, and someone’s ancestry doesn’t determine who they’ll turn out to be later. After all, Jacob (and Judah) were deceivers who God used for higher purposes. We know of Boaz and Ruth, but Hezron, Ram, or Amminadab? Not so much. They probably did some good things, but they were not perfect.
Yet Jesus was descended from them, and He lived the perfect life they didn’t. Moral of the story: we don’t have to be constrained by our past, or who lived to get us here. The ONLY thing that matters is whether or not we believe in Jesus going forward. What’s in the past only serves as a bona-fide preamble.
Which is one reason why I remember the time since Dad died. But I’m not spending too much time doing so. It’s good to remember, but then live. I still miss him, and I know I’ll see him again (because he believed in Jesus). Yet this life is now, and tomorrow. I’m thankful to be his son, yesterday and today, and to live the life I do that, in part, he bequeathed to me.
For more reading: Matthew 1:6-11
Lord, thank You for sharing Your lineage via Matthew’s words.