Read: Matthew 1:1–17

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations. Matthew 1:17

Genealogies are possibly the least appreciated texts in the Bible. They are laborious to read, with names that are difficult to pronounce and relationships that are nearly impossible to authenticate. And yet, the biblical authors felt it was important to include them. If you pay close attention to Jesus’ genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew, you will notice that it includes some rather unsavory characters. Jesus’ genealogy also references one of the most heartbreaking chapters in Jewish history—the Babylonian exile. This long list of names dares to suggest that there was some divine order to Jesus’ rather ignominious lineage.

According to this passage of scripture, fourteen generations separated Abraham and David, and fourteen generations separated David from the Babylonia exile, and another fourteen generations passed between the exile and Jesus’ birth. The message is the symmetry. It suggests things work out in the end. God brings order into the chaos of history. There is meaning and purpose in every age. Wanderers and kings and exiles play an equal role in bringing about God’s will and the Messiah’s reign.

What event in your life are you worried won’t work out as it should?

Lord, where I see chaos, You see beauty. When I sense fear, You recognize possibility. When I feel lost, You know how to find me. To me life seems confusing and dangerous and unsettled…but to You everything works out just as it should. Mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love keep us winding our way toward You. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.