December 11

Written by Bill Grandi on December 11th, 2023

One of the most “passed over’ sections of Scripture is the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. I mean, let’s face it: who in their right mind would say, “Oh boy! A genealogy. I get to read a bunch of ‘begats’ and “father of’s”? Sounds good if you want to put your child to sleep or even yourself. But to be excited to read it? Nope.

But Jesus’ genealogy is filled with interesting characters.  My devotions this week will take a look at some of them- 4 women, one outlier, and one man.  Let’s take the first in the list in this devotion:


The whole sordid story is told in Genesis 38. Tamar was married to Judah’s oldest son, Er. The Bible simply says “he was wicked in the sight of the Lord and died.” We aren’t told what it was, but it must have been bad. She then married his next brother, Onan, but he failed to consummate the marriage correctly and he too died.  Hmmm. Two up. Two down. What is Judah to do with the next son, Shelah? I can tell you what he didn’t do!  He promised him to Tamar when he came of age, but then reneged on that deal.  Tamar waited; he failed to deliver. So she took matters into her own hands. She pitched a tent; dressed as a prostitute; seduced Judah; took his staff and ring for collateral; revealed her pregnancy and who the father was; and gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.  All three are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus.

Tamar was a deceiver, who dressed as a prostitute in order to seduce her father-in-law. Even in our seeming “everything goes” age that would raise a few eyebrows.  It is hard to believe she is in Jesus’ lineage…but she is. Along with the others whom we will look at over the next few days, several lessons pop out at us. One I will cover more later: GRACE. But one that is highlighted in this genealogy is the imperfection of all of us and the ability of God to change it all and to use the weak. His ability to use broken people is on full display.

I’m a perfect example of that. Broken but usable.


I will be reminding you over the next couple of days about my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin. I have recently revived it with a totally different approach. Today I review Glynn Young’s series of books on Michael Kent-Hughes (a fictional character) whom he developed over a series of five books. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please visit me there at this post.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. I love this concept, Bill! I will definitely share the idea with Dick. What hope it gives all of us that we too, can be used of God!

  2. If we weren’t broken people, we wouldn’t need Jesus’ power to heal and restore us. So thankful that God can use all of us no matter what our background or former failures. So thankful for that, Bill.

  3. Ryan S says:

    Since the near beginning of creation, God has had to take the imperfection of a fallen humanity and has applied His grace and mercy to allow us to continue down His predetermined path of redemption. Though, we have our freedom to choose to follow Him… That freedom comes with a large responsibility of our eternal destiny. Along the way we will mess up, we will ignore His direction at times, We will fail, but if we have placed our trust in Jesus as our only option for taking our mess and making it pure… Then we too can be a part of that broken but redeemed lineage.

  4. gail says:

    I think God shows us in the Bible that we are all broken, imperfect people. God gave us so many examples of people that we would disregard as someone God would use. I think that if God showed us all really good, as close to perfect as humanly possible people, we would feel like we would never be good enough for God to use. God shows us not only can He use us, but even when we do not see how we could possibly fit into a storyline for God, that He has a place for us, a reason and purpose that God needs us to fulfill for His kingdom. We may not see all the ways all the pieces fit together, and how our part played out here on earth, but as long as we stay available for God to use, and trust God, we can be valuable to God’s plans.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree Gail. God constantly amazes me how He does His thing and changes lives over and over. Mine included. I love it when His plan comes together.

  5. Cheryl says:

    The fact that God would allow these flawed people with checkered pasts to be a part of Jesus’ ancestry really proves the enormity of His capacity to love and gives me so much hope!