The Mother and Grandmothers of Jesus

Some Remarkable Women

Recent reflections on the birth of Jesus Christ reminded me of a very encouraging fact. The human family tree of Jesus features some very remarkable women: Eve, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary (Matthew 1:1-16, Ruth 4:18-22, 1 Chronicles 2:1-15).

What makes these women so remarkable? Consider the following facts:

  • Eve committed the first sin (Genesis 3:6).
  • Tamar committed incest with her father-in-law as a prostitute (Genesis 38:24-26).
  • Rahab was a prostitute from a pagan nation (Joshua 6:22-25).
  • Ruth, also pagan, married a Jewish man contrary to Mosaic law (Ruth 1:2-4).
  • Bathsheba committed adultery with King David (2 Samuel 11:3-5).

But what about Mary? Why did I include her in this list? I included her not because of any well-known sin that sullied her reputation, but because of popular questions surrounding her reputation. The general public did not comprehend her conception as a virgin, so they concluded that she had become pregnant through premarital unfaithfulness (John 8:41).

The lineage of Jesus features a series of women with noteworthy reputations, but for the wrong reasons.

By including Mary in this list, I am pointing out that the lineage of Jesus features a series of women with noteworthy reputations, but for the wrong reasons. In Mary’s case, her reputation only seemed to be sullied. But the reputations of the five other grandmothers I’ve listed were sullied for sure.

The Women God Uses

For God to include these women in the direct family line of Jesus reminds me of his promise to Eve in Genesis 3:15, that Satan would injure the seed of the woman, but the seed of the woman would ultimately crush the seed of Satan. And it is women like these that God has used, bitten by sin, to rise up and destroy the devil by providing for us the Messiah, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:15).

God is not looking for perfect people to get his work done. Jesus is the only perfect person and he is enough.

In a simple way, this truth should encourage us all that God delivers people from reputations marred by sin (Luke 5:32. And not only does he deliver us from the marks of sin, but he enables us to fight back against the sin that ensnared us. God is not looking for perfect people to get his work done. Jesus is the only perfect person and he is enough. God is looking for sinners to join him in providing his saving grace to the world (1 Timothy 1:15).

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