Coming this Sunday at City Church, we are beginning a new Advent series entitled The Mothers of Jesus. Found in the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1) there are a number of women that are listed. The first is a woman named Tamar, followed a few generations down with Rahab, followed by Ruth, the wife of Urriah and of course the Mother of Jesus, Mary. Each woman carries a unique narrative found in Scripture and plays an incredibly important role in the unfolding Gospel message of Grace. Over the next four Sundays (Beginning this Sunday, December 2nd), we will be studying each ‘mother of Jesus’ to understand how each was used by God for His good purposes.
But for now, stop and consider their being listed in Christ’s genealogy at all. Do you understand how radical this was to the original readers of Matthew’s Gospel? Listing women in a genealogy was unheard of in the Greco-Roman culture of the first century. Women were not to be treated with such respect and honor. Their names should have been left off entirely. After all, in a patriarchal society where women were so untrustworthy they wouldn’t even be allowed to testify in a court of law, to list women would have been a disgrace! But not for Jesus! This simple mention is an undeniable demonstration of the accord that women were (and are!) given by Christ but also a demonstration of the same within the Ancient Christian Church. This becomes even more radical in nature when considering who these women were. Two were from pagan religions (religious outsiders), one an incest survivor the other a prostitute (moral outsiders) and even Mary was ostracized as a pregnant unwed mother (social outsider). But all received grace and all are remembered (and celebrated) to this day! This Advent season, join us at City Church as we examine each of these narratives studying what changed these ancient women and being reminded that what changed them is as much available to us today as it was to them way back when!