The Gospel of Matthew starts with a list of names, tracing the lineage of Jesus back to the important Jewish figures of David and Abraham. Though a boring family tree may not seem that interesting to many of us, there is a lot going on behind the scenes as Matthew artistically highlights Jesus’ status as the long-promised Messiah. One element that is easy to overlook, is the fact that included are four women, which was a cultural no-no when it came to tracing lineage. Beyond that, all four have questionable stories, of which Viva! Women explore.
Tamar seduced her father-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth seduced a relative of her dead husband. And Bathsheba is probably one of the best-known affair and cover-up stories of all time. And all of these women were foreigners. Matthew could have very easily excluded any of these reputation-challenged, non-Jewish women in Jesus’ lineage, so it’s like he goes out of his way not to. What can we learn from these four women’s stories for our lives today? Here is what we’ll be discussing:
Week 1: Tamar – Genesis 38:1-26
Week 2: Rahab – Joshua 2:1-21
Week 3: Ruth – Ruth 1:1-4:16
Week 4: Bathsheba – 2 Samuel 11:1-27, 12:13-24