The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25 (CSB)
God uses the unlikely to make His name known. Did you know that there are only four women named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1? Yep, only four women named Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Mary. Tamar played the harlot, deceived her father-in-law, and had his twin sons. Rahab was a harlot. Ruth was not only a foreigner but one of the cursed Moabites. She even initiated a relationship with Boaz after being instructed to do so by her mother-on-law Naomi. And Mary was a young, pregnant, unmarried virgin.
These women were a part of bringing Jesus to earth, and they are named in the lineage of Christ. God wanted us to know their names.
Jesus uses the unlikely. He used Tamar and Rahab and Ruth and Mary. He is using us — all for His name and His glory.
Each Sunday leading to Christmas Day, we will be reading a special set of Scriptures together right here on the blog. Leave your reflection in the comments, and reply to others. Let’s learn from one another!
Also, each evening during December, on Instagram and Facebook, we’ll share a beautiful image that features a verse and a promise from God. We hope you’ll add your voice to that chorus by sharing your own posts and the hashtag #incourageChristmas.
Finally, sign up below for our new 25 Days of Christmas Promises reading plan! When you sign up, we will send you a FREE printable reading plan that includes twenty-five days of Scripture reading selections, several downloadable devotions from the (in)courage Devotional Bible and full excerpts from Women of Courage: a Forty-Day Devotional, and reflection questions to use alongside the daily readings.
Make the season bright by reflecting on these promises from God. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, make time to quiet your heart and hear from His.
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Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I signed up for the 25 days of Christmas Promises reading plan. It’s hard to believe that it’s already Dec. 1st??!! If anyone would like to win a free copy of “Women of Courage,” I’m giving one away at my blog: https://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com/2019/11/a-personal-story-of-gratitude.html
I love this scripture – a “Who’s Who” of the lowly are specifically called out in the lineage of Jesus. In biblical times, women were not highly regarded, yet the Bible gives them prominence in this holy family tree. The first people Jesus appeared to after His resurrection were women. Christ came into the world via the womb of Mary. Knowing this gives me a glimpse of how highly God regards me and if He used these women, He can surely use me.
Jesus from the very beginning loved in a way we all are accepted, and forgiven, and given mercy and grace. How could we refuse to serve, and love others, with so much given to us?
Donna Tuttle says
Mighty Women – they were special to Jesus then and, just like us, they still are. We, as women, must “own” our responsibility to spread the good new to our children and others in this sad and anxiety filled world. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Kimberly Coney says
Bev: I signed up for the 25 days of Promises. Its hard to believe this year is almost gone. It has been a ride for sure. My counseling is going well and my time with gone has been well spent. I cannot thank you and the Incourage staff for all you do. I identify with Rahab. I was a lack for a better word permiscuous (sp?) in my younger years and in early adulthood. Once I found my true love in my husband there was no looking back. We found love in Desert Storm amongst a war of all places. I was a struggling Christian and he was no one at all. We married in 1992 and it was not until 2007 that he came to know Christ. However we both continued to struggle in our walk in every way possible. My mental capacity was not what it should be and it was rough. Finally, the Lord grabbed us by the reigns in 2016 and brought us back to Him. Thank you for listening and thank you for your posts and devotionals. I participated in the Gratitude reading plan and now the Promises plan. I do not know Gods plan for me, but Im ready for the ride He has for me. Many Blessings to you all. Kimberly
CG Phillips says
I knew the four women in Jesus’s timeline but had not considered them in quite this way. Thank you for this reflection which deepens my understanding of God.
Brenda Marjorie Russell says
Merry Christmas everyone! I am still young at heart. I truly enjoy the Fall time of the seasons. Beautiful colors, warm clothes, kind smiles, children being extra mindful of chores and the atmosphere of giving. Some people enjoy baking, some enjoy decorating, and some enjoy seeing blessings abound. Be thankful everyday no matter our challenges.
Last year I received a breast cancer diagnosis, but our Creator took my body and made it well again. What a miracle for me and my family. I will always have that testimony. No one can take that joy from me.
I love you all.
Your Sister in Christ
It’s already December 2. This year is flying by, I’m so grateful to God and for the birth and death of Jesus. Jesus’ birth opened a doorway, a path to allow us to walk through and spend eternity with God and Jesus in Heaven.
There’s a lot I mean a lot I don’t know or understand but what I do know is having a deep relationship with Christ, with God is where I am happiest and most content. It gives me safety and security. God used these women and he uses all of us for his glory. I pray that I will do him justice, do his plans justice as I walk with him, being led and guided by him!
Lorene Schroeder says
You left out Bathsheba in the lineage of Jesus. Her name isn’t mentioned, but it is implied as she was Uriah’s wife.
Nancy Ruegg says
The hope of Christmas is about salvation first and foremost, but how encouraging to see another hope represented in the lineage of Jesus, through these four women–the hope of usefulness for God’s glory. Both hopes are guaranteed to be realized, because our God of all truth has promised (Philippians 2:13). Hallelujah and Merry Christmas!
Beth Williams says
“God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called”. He continually uses the most unlikely people to achieve His goals. Imagine a prostitute in the lineage of Jesus but there it is in black & white. The first People He appeared to after His ascension were women. The people society called lowly-not highly regarded. Yet God highly regarded these women-in fact their deeds in the birth of Christ are recorded in the Bible. God doesn’t do things the way society thinks. His is an upside down theology. So glad He allowed women to be a part of His birth. I don’t feel qualified to do His bidding, yet I know He will give me the strength, endurance & knowledge to do just what He wants done.
Christmas is fast approaching. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the birth of Jesus.