Family trees can be interesting. They are not only filled with people but stories of those people, some good and some bad. Matthew, a former tax collector and thus an outcast from religious society, wanted to tell the story of Jesus and how he had challenged and changed his misperceptions and misconceptions of God. Matthew knew that the story of Jesus begins with Christmas. Not only that, but in Matthew's version, the Christmas story begins not with the virgin birth but with the genealogy of Jesus. In other words, he started with Jesus’ family tree. He lists four grandmothers of Jesus whose stories are shocking, telling, and necessary to the story Matthew wanted to tell.
1. How does the messy genealogy of Jesus make you feel? Does it make you view the Christmas Story differently?
2. What do we gain by knowing that scandal and distinction are such a large part of Jesus' family?
3. Which one of the women's stories discussed in the message stuck out to you most? Why?
4. Jesus changes the way we read the stories of these women in the genealogy of Jesus. How should Jesus change the way we read and process the stories of others and even our own stories?
5. Why do you think God chose such a scandalous family for Jesus to be born into?
6. Does knowing who Jesus came from help you better understand who he came for? Explain.
Begin to see your own story through the lens of God's grace. Allow God's grace change the way you think of and tell your own story.
Matthew 11:19 NIV The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”