“I want this.” Have you ever heard someone say that? Around Christmas time, it’s easy to hear people say that.
Ironically, at the end of the year, some magazines put out a list of “Who’s Who”, a list of people that others want to be.
And yet sometimes we can’t control the lists that we’re on, can we? That’s usually the way it is with family and relatives.
Just look at Jesus’ list of men in his family tree in Matthew 1:1-16. You’d expect all these men to be leaders, full of grace and guidance, people worth emulating.
But it’s not (not entirely, at least).
Some of the people on the list are quite the opposite, while others are what you’d expect. The types of men in this list are wealthy farmers, shepherds, mayors/city founders, harp players, kings, ordinary guys, and a carpenter.
- Abraham was “a tender of livestock” and very wealthy.
- Isaac was “an accomplished farmer and herdsman”. He, too, was good at what he did.
- Jacob’s story is that of deception, a herdsman who had deceived and been deceived by others.
- Judah, “a leader among his brothers”, a shepherd.
- Nahshon, Aaron’s brother-in-law and leader of people of Judah.
- Salmon, the founding father of the little town of Bethlehem.
- David, once a shepherd, became the second king of Israel.
- Solomon, the wisest of all, and the third king of Israel.
- Rehoboam, the king of the united kingdom which split underneath his rule.
- Asa, king of Judah, “traveled a long way with God before getting off track” (NLT).
- Jehoram, an evil king who killed all brothers out of a jealous rage.
- Uzziah, king of Judah, great military builder, became proud, and tried to do priestly duties, something he wasn’t wired to do.
- Ahaz, an utterly horrible, reprehensible king of Judah, even sacrificing his own sons to fire ‘gods’.
- Hezekiah, a king who reopened the Temple in Jerusalem, tearing down all that his dad Ahaz had done.
- Amon, a very evil king, only reigning two years until his officials assassinated him.
- Josiah, “the last good king of Judah” who made many religious reforms.
- Jeconiah, son of Josiah, and just an ordinary guy.
- Zerubbabel, the “recognized leader of the exiles (to Babylon under Cyrus)” who rebuilt the Temple.”
- Joseph the carpenter, Jesus’ earthly father.
Some people were the best at what they did, and now history remembers them, and we learn from them.
Some people weren’t the best at what they did; in fact, some were really bad. Yet God chose to glorify himself through them.
Some people were lazy and/or unproductive, not contributing anything, and all we see is their name on a record.
Which tells me this:
God can use anyone, but He wants to use you. When someone asks, “Where did Jesus come from,” may we remember that Jesus comes from a long list of ordinary people, that Jesus comes from the kind of people that God wants to include, and that Jesus comes from people that want to be used.