(All devotions can be found under the tag Inviting God In.)
So here I am at no. 5 on page 24 of Rupp’s book. I’m not feeling any holier yet. Nor do I think God feels welcome in my body or my house. Before I get to the write-up from the book, this weekend we headed out of town to see the Hubs’ grandfather who was celebrating a birthday. Somewhere over the age of 85 but I didn’t hear the actual number. At random places on the walls of the kitchen he had little paper cutouts of Jesus Christ and Mary. He’s a devoted Catholic and always has been. Most notably on the top corners of the patio door, perhaps blessing anyone who might walk in that way? I should have asked… Anyway..
“So all the generatrions from Abraham to David are fourteen generations…” Matthew 1:17
I pull that from the book called Inviting God In (where all these devotionals come from – it’s available on kindle if you want to follow along) but check out the whole verse in your Bible (if you have one) or use Bible Gateway, which is the resource I like because they offer a wide selection of versions to choose from.
Verses 1-10 run the list of ancestors Jesus had but they aren’t listing the line down Mary’s side and we know J and M are kin through pregnancy; Those who assembled the book of Matthew were assuming Jesus was the direct spawn of Joseph. But Joe is only a step-dad, not a relation — if God really is the father and Joe’s sperm had nothing to do with the boy, then this ancestral line is absolutely meaningless, genetically speaking.
And, if you want to get even more heretical, probably, there’s no telling that the wives of all these men listed didn’t dally with other dudes to get preggers when their hubbies were sterile (or away in the desert at the time) and give any offspring the married name so as to avoid a stoning. Yes, he really does have your eyes, Ezekial…
Grandpa mentioned earlier has five kids and while the two girls have never been on the outs with him for anything, the three boys at various points of their lives have been “unwelcome” in that house for any number of reasons so the Hubs was quite surprised to see two of them there for the party. (The third lives in BC, I think, which would have been a fair distance to come just for this.) Family dynamics are weird.
Also, his girl cousins are nearly interchangeable due to their similar looks and all their little tykes take after the strong genes that make those girls so identical. A couple other kids from one of the uncles looked like they should have been the Young One’s siblings, though, instead of the Hubs’ youngest cousins. Wild how that works.
Rupp notes that many cultures revere the past generations, bringing up the Native Americans and their “calling in the ancestors.” I’m reminded of Japan and China and the shrines families might have in their homes or cemeteries — admittedly I’m going by what I’ve seen in Mulan and all the anime I’ve watched in my life; I know very little about the Asian cultures, I must admit. (So much I don’t know about everyone and everywhere and I’m first to admit my ignorance.)
There’s not much to this entry in the book. Just a reminder to think about the past and those who came before and think about their faith in relation to yours (unless you’re me without any). In terms of Christ, it can be argued that this is very convoluted, and not just because of this ancestor list that’s not entirely accurate. What if Jesus is a construct and not based on a real person?
What if he’s a creation of those who wanted to sell the end of a prophecy (or more than one) made generations earlier about a son of God coming to Earth? The concept of Christ could have been retrofitted later to fit whatever Jewish predictions had so far gone unfulfilled. Y-Jesus notes the existence of 61 prophecies and,
According to the Hebrew requirement that a prophecy must have a 100 percent rate of accuracy, the true Messiah of Israel must fulfill them all or else he is not the Messiah. So the question that either vindicates Jesus or makes him culpable for the world’s greatest hoax is, did he fit and fulfill these Old Testament prophecies?
The writers of the New Testament would have known about some or all of those prophecies. And since there are points in the Gospels where one tells the story one way, one tells another way, and other two never mention it.. as an atheist, I find it really odd that people trust the Bible to tell you that other parts of the Bible are true. It’s a weird circular logic. Back to Y-Jesus:
Bible scholars tell us that nearly 300 references to 61 specific prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The odds against one person fulfilling that many prophecies would be beyond all mathematical possibility. It could never happen, no matter how much time was allotted. One mathematician’s estimate of those impossible odds is “one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.”³
Which is why people peddle the “miracle” word so easily, I guess. It’s a sweeter pill to swallow than the possibility that any or all of the writers of their “Good Book” made shit up to fit a story generations in the making.
Next up, the key to peace of mind.