One cannot miss the fact the four women besides Mary, the mother of Jesus, are recorded in this lineage that led to the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They are, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (although Bathsheba is not mentioned by name, only as the wife of Uriah).

Matthew’s main focus on the Kingly lineage that proves the identity of Christ as the only true heir to David’s throne is obvious. But I can’t help but think he could have accomplished that purpose without the mention of any women at all. But he chose not to. He could have included other women also that would have established the clear and pure lineage of Israeli Kings. He might have included Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, or Rachel. This might have seemed more appropriate considering his presentation of Mary’s conception as miraculous, just as was Sarah’s and Rachel’s. Instead, he names four gentile women.

Interracial marriage is still often seen as a scandalous affair. There has been observed both a white and black prejudice against intermarriage in the United States today. It’s deeply rooted in the history of racism in the world as a whole and our country specifically. But it’s clear that a divinely appointed interracial marriage can testify to the truth that Christ is a bond the runs much deeper than race. The problem even extends beyond interracial marriage in that many Americans, of every race, fail to even pursue interracial friendships. I can’t help but believe Christ intended to reverse this. There is even a clear statement in scripture that says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile…” in Christ.

Matthew starts his story of Jesus with this truth prominent in mind. The Jews regarded pure genealogies as crucial in their heritage. But it’s the mixed nature of Jesus’ genealogy that Matthew purposely highlights. In this we see that wholeness of the human race, regardless of race, is at the heart of the issue. Gentiles were never an afterthought of God. We were part of His plan from eternity past. God is not only a God of the people of one race or color, He is the God that crosses all racial boundaries without apology.

We should be sure to follow His example.

“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. “ (Matthew 1:17)