I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
This is my first blog on my current adventure through the New Testament. I begin of course with Matthew chapter one. As you notice, this chapter begins with a lot of begats. Sounds boring. Why do we need all of this repetition? Believe it or not, there is actually a point to the repeating of this lineage. Each generation had its weaknesses. These weaknesses were passed down from generation to generation on to Jesus. However, while Jesus shared the weaknesses of His ancestors He did not participate in their sins. Ellen White explains in her classic The Desire of Ages, p. 49; “It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” Abraham lied to the Pharaoh of Egypt in regard to his relationship with Sarai. Isaac, Abraham’s son, did the same thing. Then Jacob, Isaac’s son lies to Isaac when he steals the birthright. Then Jacob’s uncle Laben, turns around and deceives Jacob. Generation after generation of liars! However, while this heredity was passed down to Jesus He did not give in to the temptation to lie and lived a perfect life, thus making it possible for us to overcome our heredity.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25