God’s Love Letters #2   6 comments

Matthew 1:1  The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

 Both Abraham and David understood God’s plan as universal rather than solely Jewish (as the calling of each clearly states).  Therefore, this is the history, salvation history, of the world, not just of one small nation.  Both men are seen here primarily as avenues of salvation rather than centers of political control.  Jesus, being the denouement, becomes the lens of interpretation for all of history.  He gives to both Abraham and David their historical and spiritual meaning, so, as the first verse states, this family tree is about Jesus, not just (for example) a rehearsing of Jewish history.  The history of the world (and of Israel) can only be understood by seeing all through the person and work of Jesus.  He is the defining point of history.

 Even though the focus is entirely on Jesus, it is not “the record of Jesus,” unconnected to history, as though God let the world wander on its own and then finally sent a Savior.  The whole history is part of a closely laid plan from the beginning of time, the beginning of man and his fall, the beginning of Israel.  It is the record of the genealogy of Jesus.  History—factual events that really occurred—is fundamental to the Christian faith.  Existentialism, much as I like it, tries to de-contextualize Jesus and personal faith, but faith must always be firmly rooted in our reality and past.  Theology, as much as each individual life, cannot begin in the middle in dismissal of the past. 


We are not controlled by our past, but we are at every point a direct outgrowth of our past (though every present moment is an opportunity for re-directing our future history).  Every step of a journey takes you to a very specific location.  You can change direction at any point, even radically, but you cannot change the previous steps taken which have brought you to this place.  If you have walked to Central Park, you cannot take your next step from Times Square, you can only take your next step in that direction.  Even the greatest redirection in life, spiritual regeneration, does not suddenly change your personality, biology, total sum of a lifetime of thoughts, family and friends, skills and talents, likes and dislikes, or even your character.  It gives the power to change in ways never before possible, and it begins to change everything, but we all start that journey with the first step.

It is because every present moment is so weighted by our past that it takes a lifetime and more to be restored to the persons we are meant to be.  You cannot wake up tomorrow and live as though you had no past or precedent… even if you had amnesia.  Who you are is a continuous flow, not disconnected states of being.  Some truths can have profound impact on the flow of our lives, but being transformed by a given truth is a process.  This is very frustrating for many of us.  It all seems to take so long, especially when the embedded lies are still wounding us and our relationships.  But this forces us to fall back on grace for ourselves as well as for one another.  The quality of our relationships is not determined by our goodness (thankfully), or even our maturity, but by grace to us, in us, through us.  And the source of this grace is Jesus who is just as much a part of our life’s history as he was of Jewish history.


Posted March 22, 2012 by janathangrace in Bible Grace

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6 responses to “God’s Love Letters #2

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  1. Like – BK

  2. Today I am deciding that … although many horrific and terrible sins and injustices have been done by humans in the name of grace so much so that it is hard to hear the word without trembling inside and unconsciouly turning immediately away, I will look to the Author of grace and learn from His life what His definition looks like.

    • Wow, words are remarkably powerful and carry their own distinct feel to each of us. I’d be interested in hearing more of your thoughts and experiences regarding “grace.” If the word is a bad one for you, perhaps “unconditional love” would be a good susbtitute.

      • I think the eyes of my heart have this world and Christian culture’s blindness on the words like grace, forgiveness, unconditional love…terrible things have been done, excused, and continued which now define those words for me…but I have been praying that the eyes of my heart would begin to see more and more clearly what Jesus sees and that journey would begin to help my blind eyes accept His definitions… I am sorry I jumped so heavily on what you wrote…obviously a huge reaction and one that challenged/invited me. Contrary to how I came across, I was struck/invited/felt deep longing by what you wrote that I was looking at grace from my experience/journey rather than looking at grace by Jesus’ life…

      • Elisabeth, I didn’t take any offence or hurt from what you said. I know how powerful words can be, especially once their meanings are twisted for us through experience. I feel sad that these words have been poisoned for you. Are there any words that survive for you that mean something similar? Perhaps you could use the Greek ‘charis’ or Hebrew ‘Hesed’ or some other language. Some words get so polluted that there is no point in trying to rehabilitate them. Wishing the best for you on your journey.

      • Thank you…

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