When many students of the Bible read Matthew chapter one, they are unimpressed and somewhat puzzled by the long list of names of the people in the lineage of Jesus Christ. There are, however, some great lessons in the words of the passage if we carefully look.
Upon closer examination, we see five women mentioned in the genealogy. One commentator said that “Matthew broke the rules doing this because women were not mentioned in the writings of the Rabbis.”
All of these women are mothers. Tamar, who bore twins to her father-in-law, Judah, was accused of “playing the harlot” and was going to be burned until she produced Judah’s signet, cord and staff, according to Genesis 38.
Rahab was the harlot who hid Israel’s spies in Jericho in Joshua 2. Boaz was born through the union of Rahab and Salmon.
Boaz saw Ruth gleaning the fields as she attempted to make a meager living for herself and her mother-in-law. She was not a Jew, but was from Moab. Ruth gave birth to Obed, the father of Jesse who was the father of King David.
Bathsheba was the woman David spied from the roof of his palace as she bathed in 2 Samuel 11. He committed adultery with her and had her husband killed. Solomon was the surviving son from that union.
There were rumors that buzzed around the pregnancy of Mary, betrothed to Joseph, although her son was miraculously conceived (Matthew 1:19).
Not only were some of these women suspected or accused of immoral actions, some of them were Gentiles, also considered as a violation of the rules of propriety.
Yet, each one of these women were mothers who loved their husbands and their sons. That is what mothers do, isn’t it? Each of these mothers also had something important in common. They all played a role in the coming of the son of God.
If there is one important lesson in Matthew chapter one it must be the importance of mother. Perhaps only one of these five mothers knew they were bringing God’s only begotten son into the world, but all of them had a part.
Mothers do such an important job, but, few people notice them because they are usually humble, hard workers. They make great sacrifices to bring their children into the world and nurture them, but few people see their labor. While it may be difficult to see the important work these women did in bringing God the Son into the world, there is no mistaking the impact they had on the history of the world and on our own salvation.