My closet is a complete wreck right now. The floor is covered with boxes, brightly colored bags, scraps of paper, rolls of tape, and an abundance of loose gift tags. Anyone looking on at my process for hiding and wrapping gifts would be amazed to see not only the final product on Christmas morning, but amazed that I don’t lose a finger to the scissors long before Christmas ever gets here.
The thing is, though, I know exactly where everything is in my closet, and I have a plan in place for turning that mess into a stack of perfectly selected, poorly wrapped, gifts for my family.
Many of our homes, offices, cabinets, or cars look like my gift wrapping station. We live in organized chaos. No one else may be able to find the bottom of it all, but you could put your hands on anything you needed within 6 seconds and explain how it got there. It’s chaos to everyone else, but you have everything exactly where you want it.
The account of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1 begins with a genealogy. I know these genealogy sections in the Bible can seem boring and redundant, but they tell a beautiful story. These verses take us through a list of some of the most flawed people in Scripture.
From the mess leading up to Abraham fathering his second son, Issac, to Judah’s less-than-intentional fathering of Perez, to Solomon coming from the union of King David and the wife of Uriah, this list of Jesus’ ancestors is the “who’s who” of broken and screwed up people, of biblical proportions.
The fact that this is Jesus’ very own family tree is so incredibly human. We are all broken people who come from a long line of broken people, and as we can see in Matthew 1, Jesus’ family is no different. Someone reading these Old Testament stories for the first time would be shocked by the messes made in the lives of all of these Bible heroes, by their sin and their refusal to follow God on such huge matters.
The Master Plan
Yet, it is exactly this mess that God used to bring Jesus into this world. All of these events were perfectly orchestrated and timed just right to fulfill prophecy after prophecy about the coming King Jesus. The Messiah would be Abraham’s seed through his only legitimate son, Issac, from the tribe of Judah through his daughter in-law, Tamar, and of the lineage of David through his affair with Bathsheba. Despite the apparent mess of humanity along the way, Matthew 1:17 makes it clear that every bit of it was part of God’s plan, down through the generations.
The events leading up to the birth of King Jesus were divinely orchestrated, but humanly messy. The perfect combination of God and man in this story, which spans the entire Old Testament, is just a sneak preview of the perfect combination of God and man that is Jesus Christ. The full authority of the sovereign God is packaged and put on display in the Son of a poor carpenter from nowhere special.
No onlookers to this story would have been able to make heads or tails of how this was going to turn out at the end of all this human chaos, but God knew exactly where everything was and how it was going to go together to create the perfect Christmas gift for His people.