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Christian Biblical Studies
‘Had the hopes of Israel been merely concoctions to deceive the people, we may be sure that the deceiver would have been careful to have marked out some remarkable line of parentage for the coming Messiah, free from blights, scandals, etc.; but this was not done; instead, the weaknesses of the flesh among our Lord’s progenitors are fearlessly noted.
‘Judah, the son of Jacob, and head of the tribe from which our Lord sprang, was not above reproach and his general character was faithfully portrayed; his son, Phares, through whom our Lord’s lineage runs, was born of an unlawful union. Rahab, a foreigner who became an Israelite indeed, was among our Lord’s progenitors; so was Ruth the Moabitess, another foreigner adopted as an Israelite. The line even through David is compromised by coming through Bath-sheba, the widow of Uriah the Hittite. The New Testament writers are similarly candid and make no hesitation in recording the genealogy.
‘All of this is in full accord with the Scriptural presentation of the matter; namely, that our Lord’s virtue, his sinlessness, his separateness from sinners, was not through the flesh, not through his mother, but through his Father, God. According to the flesh, Jesus Christ took hold of the seed of Abraham, as the Apostle explains; but as we have already seen, through various circumstances He was indirectly related also to the outside world.
‘All of this is interesting to us, but is not to be compared to our still greater interest in the fact that our Lord Jesus, although born a Jew under the Law, redeeming those who were under the Law, did more than this, in that his death as planned by the Father and accepted willingly by himself is a propitiation “for the sins of the whole world” [1 John 2: 2].
‘He died as the ransom-price for Adam and his sin, and thus guaranteed the release from condemnation, not only of Adam, but also of his entire posterity involved through his transgression; hence, as the Apostle points out, “He is able also to save [deliver] them to the uttermost that come unto God by him . . .” (Heb. 7: 25).
‘Not only so, but our Lord’s circumstances of birth and early experiences in comparative poverty as a working man, impress us with the thought that he is indeed able to sympathize with mankind in every station of life; having passed from the glory of the Father to the lowest condition of humanity and back again, he is surely able to appreciate and to sympathize with all conditions and classes.’ – C.T.R., 1902
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