Devotional: The Family of God is Unusual
Have you ever been the last one selected for an athletic team? Or have you ever felt like the black sheep in your family? The one who sticks out from the rest because of your particularities and unusual story? One of the astounding truths about the God that we serve is that the last people that the world picks are the first people that Jesus picks to be a part of His family. There is room for everyone in the family of God— everyone! And this is proven to us as we consider the résumé of Jesus. His genealogy is overflowing with unusual people, from a prostitute to an extreme criminal to a humble teenager— there is no one who is too unusual to be a part of the family of God!
Questions for Meditation
- When reading though genealogies in the Bible, have you ever been tempted to skim over them or skip them altogether? What do we learn about these lists of names from studying the genealogy of Jesus this morning?
- Was there a particular person in Jesus’ lineage that you identified with more than others? Who was it? Why do you think you identified with them?
- Sometimes we see the unusual characteristics in our personalities or stories as a hindrance to our ability to share the love of God with people. But how do we see that God actually uses these unusual characteristics to extend and grow His family?
- The culmination and focus of the genealogy is clearly on Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary. Matthew, the author, places much stress on the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. What does this term ‘Messiah’ mean? And why is it so significant for understanding the rest of Jesus’ story?
- Have you ever encountered someone who thinks that they are just “too far gone” from receiving the love of Jesus? In light of what we saw from Matthew 1, what can you say to someone who thinks there’s no room in the family of God?
- Is there someone God placed on your heart who needs to know that “there is room for everybody in the family of God?” Who is it?
- Pray that this Christmas season wouldn’t be “just another Christmas,” but that it would truly be an encounter with and celebration of Immanuel— God with us— both for you as an individual, and for us as the greater body of Christ.