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"A Twist of Hope"Stuart Jones Many of us may wonder what the purpose of Matthew 1:1-16 is. God said 1,000 years earlier that the Messiah must come from the line of David. How would the people know who to believe? One answer—check His genealogy. If He’s not from the line of David, forget it. He can’t be the Messiah.   Matthew 1 begins this way: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” We might say, in a sense, that this family tree is the original Christmas tree. In order for Jesus to qualify as the Messiah, He must be a literal, physical descendant of David.   We also may wonder why only four women were mentioned. Israelite scholars usually only recorded the significant male ancestors. Sometimes entire generations were skipped, and usually all of the women were not mentioned.   The first woman mentioned is Tamar. “Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother’s name was Tamar” Matthew 1:3 (NIV). On the surface, this seems normal enough, but Judah was Tamar’s father-in-law. After Tamar’s husband died, she behaved as a prostitute and had children with Judah.   What does all of this mean? God isn’t like us. We can’t pick our relatives, but He can. We might assume He would pick only the most morally pure of heart for His lineage, but He didn’t. Jesus’ family tree is like any other. Can we see what God is saying even in a detail as small as Christ’s genealogy? We don’t have to be perfect to be used by God. No matter what we’ve done, He still has a purpose and plan for our life.