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"By the wife of Uriah." Why not just call her by name—Bathsheba?
 
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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"A Strange Turn of Phrase"
December 6, 2018
Matthew 1:6b - ... And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah ...

"By the wife of Uriah." Why not just call her by name—Bathsheba? Why use a description instead? For that matter, why not just write "David was the father of Solomon" and end the statement there, as with most of the other steps in this genealogy? Why even bring up the matter at all? 

As it stands, the text forces us to remember that David committed a great sin—he committed adultery with another man's wife, and then had that man murdered to cover up his own crime. The great King David made himself an adulterer and a murderer. What a story to find in the middle of Jesus' genealogy!

And yet, what better place to find it could there be? David's story reminds us that among Jesus' ancestors were some of the worst sinners imaginable—people guilty of murder, adultery, prostitution, sacrilege, and child sacrifice, among others. Jesus carried their DNA. Their bodies furnished the basis for His. The sinless Savior of the world had an ancestry teeming with sinful people.

How can this be? When God called Jesus Immanuel, which means "God-with-us," He meant it. Jesus is truly with us in the most intimate, personal ways. He does not stand aloof from us in our sins. He comes to us, even in the darkest, most shameful depths. He shines His light into our lives. He cleanses us with His own blood, shed on the cross. He lifts us out of the mud and makes us God's own people, washed clean and pure by His mercy. This is what Jesus was born to do.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, draw me close to You and cleanse me from all my sin. Thank You for loving me so much. Amen.

Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
Do you have a notorious or embarrassing ancestor? If so, tell about him or her (but don't identify the person if he or she lived recently enough that it would cause trouble).

What does it mean to you personally when you hear Jesus called "God-with-us," Immanuel?

Is there one sin that is especially troubling to you at this time? If so, take time to ask Jesus to be with you and bring His cleansing forgiveness to you now.

Today's Bible in a Year Reading: Ezra 3-4; 1 John 5
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