Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Unexpected: Jesus’ coming was anticipated and prophesied, but at the same time how and when He would come was unexpected. Most were caught off guard. Most were not expecting His arrival. Most did not anticipate the circumstances of His coming. This was unexpected.
Matthew 1 begins with the genealogy of Jesus going back to Abraham. In one sense, the very fact that God would design the sending of His Son, our Savior, through a physical birth is unexpected. Every one of Jesus’ relatives is also unexpected. Consider Abraham. He came from a pagan, idol worshiping family with no inclination of seeking the true God of the universe. God did pursue Abram forming him into a man of faith to become the father of a great nation, Israel, and making Abraham a blessing to the whole world through Jesus, the Savior’s birth. This is unexpected.
Jacob, the deceiver, is a forefather of Jesus. Jacob lied and manipulated situations and circumstances for his own personal gain. He suffered repercussions for his shifty behavior, yet God pursued Him and promised that He would work through Him. God saw Jacob as more than a deceiver. He changed Jacob’s name to Israel, the very people that God formed, chose, and blessed. This is unexpected.
Tamar played the part of a harlot to prove a point to her father-in-law, yet God brought about the birth of His Son Jesus through her son Perez. He worked through Rahab and Ruth, both coming from foreign lands and both bringing questionable behavior and backgrounds into Jesus’ family. This is unexpected.
David, maybe half expected, is also part of Jesus’ genealogy. But this is only expected until we recall that he committed adultery with Bathsheba, lied to and deceived Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, and then had Uriah murdered. God, unexpectedly, chose both David and Bathsheba to be part of Jesus’ family. This is unexpected.
The family line continues through the unfaithful kings of Judah, several unknown and obscure men, and eventually ends up with a single, just man that is moving forward with quietly divorcing his betrothed wife, Mary, because she has been found to be pregnant (with Jesus), but not from Joseph. This is unexpected.
We might think that Jesus would be ashamed of His family tree and might commit to bring about a change for the sake of the family name. However, that is not what He does. Rather than seeking a character cleansing for the family line, Jesus continues with the unexpected behavior of His heavenly Father. He seeks to add the worst of the worst to His family. He invites sinners, publicans, harlots, thieves, uneducated, religious, foreigners, sick, lame, Gentiles, Samaritans, and all who will come by faith, to be part of His family as His brothers and sisters. This is unexpected.
Furthermore, He pursues us today with His invitation to join His family. He makes a way for us to be joined to Him as our brother-Savior. He unexpectedly desires us to join with His Father as daughters and sons. This is unexpected.
Within these unexpected events, a missional component exists. As we go through our day, we are to realize that God’s unexpected work through Jesus extends not just to us, but to all whom we connect with in our day. His unexpected invitation to join His family is extended to even the most unexpected individual we encounter. This is unexpected.