When God was planning Jesus’ ancestry, it would have made sense to give Him a royal lineage that would impress the world since He was coming to save the whole world. Instead He chose the most ignoble ancestry possible--one that anyone, even the gravest sinner could identify with.
Let’s take a look at some of the women in Jesus’ lineage.
Tamar was the wife of Judah’s oldest son, Er. Er was wicked and consequently died. If Onan, the second son, had been obedient to Hebrew law, he would have taken Tamar as his wife, so she could produce offspring for his brother. He refused and also died. Shelah, the third son, also did not marry Tamar, so she made her own plans.
The Scripture: Genesis 38:14-15
“She (Tamar) took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down by the entrance to Enaim where she knew Judah would pass. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.”
1. What did Tamar do?
The Scripture: Genesis 38:15-16
“When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute....He went over to her by the roadside and said, ‘Come now, let me sleep with you.’”
2. What did Judah do?
She agreed and he asked her what pledge she wanted.
The Scripture: Genesis 28:19
“Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand.”
3. What did she ask for?
He agreed and they both went their separate ways. When he tried to find her later, he could not.
The Scripture: Genesis 38:24
“About three months later, Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law, Tamar, is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant. Judah said, ‘Bring her out and have her burned to death.’”
(This was the penalty for prostitution.)
4. What happened next?
Tamar revealed who the father of the child was and showed Judah the pledges he had given her.
The Scripture: Genesis 38:26
“Judah...said, ‘She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.’”
5. What did Judah recognize about her?
The Scripture: Genesis 38:27
“When it came time for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.”
6. What did she give birth to?
The boys were named Perez and Zerah. In the first chapter of Matthew, Zerah is listed in the lineage of Jesus.
Rahab is the prostitute who gave sanctuary to the Hebrew spies when they were conquering the Promised Land. When Jericho was destroyed, Joshua saved her life and the lives of her family as he had promised. Rahab is also mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, a young soldier in the service of King David. The king desired Bathsheba and when she became pregnant, he had Uriah killed in battle and he married Bathsheba.
Bathsheba’s first child died, but she gave birth to Solomon. David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be king after he died. When another son, Adonajah, declared himself king, Bathsheba reminded David of his promised and he declared Solomon king.
Many of us are familiar with the story of Ruth, the lovely young pagan woman who followed her mother-in-law, Naomi to Bethlehem. Ruth inspired all who knew her by her devotion and self-sacrifice. In time she caught the attention of Boaz, a rich landowner, who eventually married her. In Jesus’ lineage, Ruth is shown to be the grandmother of King David.
Finally, we come to Mary, the mother of Jesus, a poor, young peasant girl, who bore Jesus when she was probably about 14.
More detailed studies of Rahab and Mary can be downloaded from the Aglow International website at www.aglow.org .
Jesus, the Only Savior
Now we come to another essential aspect of Jesus, our Savior. Jesus is not only a Savior for everyone, He is the only Savior.
The Scripture: John 3:36
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
7. What does Jesus tell His disciples?
The Scripture: John 145:6, 7
“Jesus answered [Thomas], ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me... If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well.’”
8. How does Jesus answer Thomas?
The Scripture: Ephesians 1:10
“He will bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”
9. What does Paul say the Father will do?
The Scripture: John 10:30
“Jesus said, ‘I and the Father are one.’”
10. What was Jesus’ declaration?
Jesus is the Jewish Messiah
The Jews had long awaited the coming of the Messiah, a figure like Moses who would tell them all things. After spending the day with Jesus, the first thing Andrew did was find his brother Peter.
The Scripture: John 1:41
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah (that is the Christ).’”
11. What did Andrew say?
On His way through Samaria, Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman.
The Scripture: John 4:25-26
“The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”
12. What did the woman say about the Messiah?
13. What was Jesus’ response?
Before Jesus’ crucifixion, Pilate questioned Him.
The Scripture: Luke 23:2-3
“Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied.”
14. What did Pilate ask Jesus?
15. What was Jesus’ answer?
Jesus, the Christ, came into this world, not only to the Jews and a few prominent individuals, but to save the whole world, including you and me.
- Disguised herself as a prostitute and waited by the road where she knew Judah would pass.
- He asked her to sleep with him.
- His seal, its cord, and his staff
- Judah learned that Tamar was pregnant and he ordered her killed.
- That she was more righteous than he.
- Twin boys
- That whoever believes in Him has eternal life, but whoever rejects Him will not see life.
- That no one comes to the Father except through Him. If he really knew Jesus, he would know the Father as well.
- Bring all things in heaven and on earth together under Christ
- He and the Father are one.
- We have found the Messiah.
- I know that Messiah is coming...He will explain everything to us.
- I who speak to you am He.
- Are you king of the Jews?
- It is as you say
All scripture quotations in this publication are from the Holy Bible, New International Version
(unless otherwise indicated)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, New International Bible Society
Copyright © 2008 by JoAnne Sekowsky