Coming From a Good Background

November 28, 2021,   1st Sunday of Advent (Cycle C)

The tie in between today’s readings: A Proof of the Virgin Birth

Psalms 25:1-14Jeremiah 33:14-161 Thessalonians3:12-4:2Luke 21:25-36

The holidays are here. During this time of year, we make special plans to spend time with the close strangers in our lives that we call family. Whether we want to or not, we will trek out to share food and alcohol with the few people in the world who look like us and with whom we share a close common history. This is not lost on Madison Avenue. You may have noticed the increase in advertising for ancestry companies. For a multitude of reasons, many of us will give up our charge cards and DNA to take them up on their offers. It could be in order to satisfy some sort of curiosity, possibly to verify our own family folklore, or perhaps to build a stronger bond with the person sitting across the mash potatoes from us that we may someday need to ask for a kidney. Strangely enough, genealogy plays an important role in the Christmas story as seen in our reading today in Jeremiah. In fact, the Bible doubles down on it by giving both sides of the family tree through Joseph and Mary. Getting it right is absolutely essential to fulfill prophesy and to leave no mistake that Jesus is the Messiah and heir to David’s throne.

Joseph’s line comes directly from David through Solomon (Matt 1). Legally, the Jews looked on Jesus as Joseph’s son (John 6:42). Here’s the catch: Jesus would not have been able inherit the throne if He was a blood descendant of Joseph. Because of the wickedness of Jechonias, God cursed this line, and no other descendants could be king (Jeremiah 22:24-30). This is a proof of the virgin birth, since Jesus was the actual Son of God the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit and only Joseph’s through adoption. Enter Mary. Luke 3 traces her line back to David through another son, Nathan. Unlike Joseph, there was no block on Jesus to claim the throne through Mary’s blood line. The problem here was that in Jewish law, inheritances passed through the sons not the daughters. Mary could not give Jesus the throne unless she was an only child (apparently, she was) and married within her tribe, which she did when she married Joseph (Numbers 27:1-8; 36:6-8).  Joseph inherited the right to rule on David’s throne by marriage to Mary and passed it onto Jesus. Jesus is heir by adoption and the seed of the woman. Ironically, if the kings of Judah had remained obedient to God, Joseph could have been ruling in Israel at this time with his queen Mary at his side and Jesus would have been born in a palace instead of a manger. There’s a butterfly effect for you.

But the pauper prince is a king, nonetheless. He rules over a nation as real as any country on the map: the Kingdom of God. Its people are supernaturally born into citizenship through the election of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit. As we see in today’s Psalm and 1 Thessalonians, the laws of God are taught and written on each of their hearts. Thy will be done, is their motivation. The Great Commission, their life’s work. Jesus is working through His people today with the gospel call to believe in His sacrifice as Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. You can receive this salvation by faith and be granted citizenship into His kingdom. He offers this to you with the simple invitation of “Come.” Do not delay. Join the ranks of the blessed whose destiny is GLORY! Time is short. He will come back to claim the Earth as His Kingdom and take His place on the Throne of David as noted in today’s reading in Luke 21. Be part of it!

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