Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Jesus didn’t have a perfect family tree. In the line of Christ is Judah and the baby that resulted from a night with his daughter-in-law. In the line is Rahab the harlot, Ruth the stranger from Moab, David the adulterer, Solomon who forsook God for the idols of his wives. Their descendants produced a line of kings, some who did good things and tried to honor God and some who committed many wicked things. And then Jesus is born to Mary and Joseph, with Mary being found with child before she and Joseph came together, another scandal of sorts. Though they’d done nothing wrong, the appearance of impropriety was there.
And what does that show—besides the fact that our family history doesn’t have to define us—but that Jesus came into a messy world. The effects of sin He was coming to undo were startlingly evident just in His own genealogy. But it was a sinful world He came to save, not a perfect one. It was sinful people He came for, not perfect ones. And to be our Savior, that meant being part of life in this world, with the good, the bad, and all that that entails.
But this was the work of God every step of the way, through every person in the lineage, through Mary and Joseph, through all the events that had to come to pass. This was the way it had to be, even if it would not be easy for Mary and Joseph. Here was Mary, pregnant before her marriage, facing the shame of that and the questions, the whispering and conjecture about what type of woman she was. Here was Joseph trying to do the honorable thing despite it all. But there was God right in the center of it, too, and He would be with them through it all.
This all just shows us why we need Jesus so much—because our world is broken and we are broken and our relationships are so often broken. Our need for God is evident. Our need for a Savior is real. We need someone who can fix it all, and only Jesus can. And may we also see that God can use anyone. Despite the sins of our fathers and the sins in our own past, God has a purpose for us. He can work in and through those things. He can produce something so good and amazing and wonderful out of all of that messiness. So may we be willing to trust God in those less-than-ideal situations and believe that something good can come from all we may have to endure.