Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jesus-- the "Son of Man" and the son of man (both redeemed and unredeemed)

C.S. Lewis says that we're all theologians. The only question is whether you're a good one or a bad one. As a theologian, I've thought at length about the combination of Jesus Christ's humanity and divinity. Typically, his humanity is traced through Mary and she is portrayed as a relatively pure vessel through which the God/Man came. (Catholics often assert Mary's perfection-- in trying to resolve the inherent tensions.)

This morning, I was reading through the early part of Matthew's gospel and I was struck by Joseph's lineage. (Mary's lineage is reported in Luke's gospel.) I had heard years ago about the four interesting women in Matthew's genealogy: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba ("the wife of Uriah")-- a woman who prostituted her father-in-law because he failed to do his duty under Levirate marriage (Genesis 38), a Gentile and former prostitute or brothel owner (Joshua 2), a Gentile (Ruth), and the adulteress of King David (II Samuel 11-12).

In particular, Ruth and Rahab point to God's power to redeem. Beyond that, today, I was struck by some of the more famous men in the geneaology: a combination of those who were godly men (e.g., Josiah, Hezekiah) and those who were utterly unredeemed (e.g., Manasseh).

Bottom line: God can and does work through those who follow him, those who are redeemed later in life, and those who are ignore him or even engage in evil.


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