Meg and I were discussing our leaders and the Ivy League. Graduation does not guarantee brilliance. But as we discussed, I wondered the exact list of Ivy schools. Was Stanford? A google searched revealed the Ivy League was not an academic qualification, but an athletic league. Of course it goes back to sports — quintessential America!
Knowledge is not a requirement for talking. Are world certainly proves that truth (our 😉 – knowledge is not a requirement for writing either!). I can spew about the Ivy League, with only some understanding of what it represents. In the same way, people pull verses out of scripture without understanding the context.
Take Matthew’s gospel. It begins with a genealogy of Jesus. You could easily think the point was to connect Jesus to the line of David and Abraham. And you would be partly correct. Kind of like me believing the Ivy League was the collection of our nation’s best academic schools. Partly right, but missing MIT, Stanford, Duke… in the same way, the genealogy is about much more than lineage.1
The genealogy acts as a thesis for Matthew’s gospel. The book is about Jesus, who is the fulfillment of the history and promise of Israel. But not in the way expected. So the genealogy is surprising, including women (rare in a patriarchal society). But not just any women. Foreigners. Prostitutes. Victims. The thesis statement in the genealogy is that God is acting to bring salvation and this blessing will welcome ALL people.2
This Sunday we conclude the Baggage sermon series, covering the five women listed in the Matthew genealogy. I hope you will consider joining us at 10:30. In person with masks or streamed on Youtube and Facebook.
1 — The lineage of Jesus is secured by his Father, no matter who are his grandparents. 🙂
2 — Another reason the genealogy starts at Abraham is not to mark Jesus as a Jew — though he was a Jew. Instead it connects Jesus as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham: “and through your offspring all nations will be blessed” (Gn 22:18).