by Macy Johnson
“He made Himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.”
(Philippians 2:7 NIV)
I took a closer look at the genealogy of Jesus in the book of Matthew. Forty-two generations from Abraham to Joseph included the names of five women. Tamar deceived her father-in-law, Judah. Rahab was a Gentile prostitute in Jericho. Ruth was a foreign widow from Moab. Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, was murdered by King David. Mary was an unwed mother.
Why did Matthew include the names of these messy women? Jesus reminded us that He didn’t come to save the righteous, but sinners. He came to rescue us from the mess by getting down and dirty with us. Like a mother cleans her soiled child, the ‘Mess’iah steps into the trouble but remains pure and holy.
I can recall some very chaotic times in my life. My mother often reminded me that I was not up to her par. My appearance was lacking, my choices imperfect, and my attempts at pleasing her fell short. Through those years my faith in Jesus grew stronger. He stepped down into the distress with me.
Messy was an apt description of the audience gathered to hear our small choir at the nursing home. Most had their eyes closed, but one lady couldn’t be still. She stood next to her walker and danced to the hymns of long ago. When she sat down, a helper handed her a cup of juice. She squeezed it and the sticky liquid spilled onto her lap and the floor. I know Jesus’ heart went out to her. Messy doesn’t scare Him away.
God doesn’t come to us by degrees. He is not afraid to jump into the grit and grime with us. It’s all or nothing.
I welcome my heavenly Father into my messy life. I hope you will, too!