Most families keep their family secrets a secret. Most don’t talk about the swindling uncle or the streetwalking great-aunt. Such stories remain unmentioned at the family reunion and unrecorded in the family Bible.
That is unless you are the God-man. Jesus displays the bad apples of his family tree in the first chapter of the New Testament. You’ve barely dipped a toe into Matthew’s Gospel when you read Jesus’ lineage and realize he hails from the Tilted Halo Society. Rahab was a Jericho harlot. Grandpa Jacob was slippery enough to warrant an electric ankle bracelet. David had a personality as irregular as a Picasso painting—one day writing psalms, another day seducing his captain’s wife.
But did Jesus erase his name from the list? Not at all. You’d think he would have.
Why did Jesus hang his family’s dirty laundry on the neighborhood clothesline? Because your family has some too. An uncle with a prison record. The dad who never came home. The grandparent who ran away with the coworker.
If your family tree has bruised fruit, then Jesus wants you to know, “I’ve been there.” The phrase “I’ve been there” is in the chorus of Christ’s theme song. To the lonely, Jesus whispers, “I’ve been there.” To the discouraged, Christ nods his head and sighs, “I’ve been there.”
Questionable pedigree. Raised in an over-looked nation among oppressed people in an obscure village. Simple home. Single mom. An ordinary laborer with ordinary looks. Can you spot him? See the adobe house with the thatched roof? Yes, the one with the chickens in the yard and the gangly teenager repairing chairs in the shed. Word has it he can fix your plumbing as well.
He’s been there.
“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
By Max Lucado, devotional found in the NIV Lucado Encouraging Word Bible.
The Lucado Encouraging Word Bible, NIV Edition offers encouragement in God’s Word with a masterful collection of Max Lucado’s encouraging words curated from his more than forty years of sermons, books, and articles interspersed in Scripture. Learn More >