Are You Accepted or Rejected?
When I was a child I used to love watching cartoons. There was one cartoon that really stuck in my mind and this was called Yacky Duck. Yacky Duck had a real problem with rejection. His catchphrase was, ‘Nobody loves me, everybody hates me.’ He went through cartoon after cartoon feeling utterly abandoned and outside of what was going on. Often this was not real but imagined.
I suppose people identified with Yacky Duck because many often have felt alone and not belonging. I remember times at school when children were playing alone in the playground. There was always the guy who was chosen last for the football team to make up the numbers. If I’m really honest most of the time some have felt outsiders from the church even when regularly attending. A sizeable percentage are very strongly introverted and have struggled to relate to others all their lives. I don’t think this has always been the fault of others. People must take responsibility for any of their unhelpful issues in these situations. Sometimes the rejection they have felt has been imagined other times it has been only too real. Sometimes it’s been no one’s fault. I have come to see that most people have felt rejected to a greater or lesser extent in their lives.
Matthew ’s Gospel starts with a genealogy. Now a genealogy is a list of names of people who belong. If your name is in the genealogy you belong. If it is not in the genealogy you don’t belong. Matthew’s genealogy is a record of the royal family of which Jesus is the Great King. To have your name in this is really something. This is belonging in a big way. There are five people listed in this genealogy who you would not expect to be included and there are five who have been missed out.
Five women are included in the genealogy. It was not normal for women to be included in genealogies. What is even more surprising is that each of these women did not have a good reputation. They were:
• Thamar (Matthew 1:3) She pretended to be a prostitute to become pregnant by her father in law Judah (Genesis 38)
• Rachab (Matthew 1:5) This lady was otherwise known as Rahab the Harlot (Joshua 2:1, 3, 6:17, 23, 25)
• Ruth (Matthew 1:5) A Moabitess. These people had come into existence from an incestuous union between Lot and his daughter when he was drunk (Genesis 19:30-36)
• Bathsheba (Matthew 1:6) She committed adultery with David (2 Samuel 11)
• Mary (Matthew 1:16) A virgin but in the eyes of unbelievers an unmarried mother.
In the eyes of the culture they lived in they were well and truly rejected. Yet in God’s eyes, they were listed amongst the genealogy of Jesus Christ. God loves to take people who have been rejected and accept them. He loves to take those who do not belong and make them belong. I take great comfort in the fact that I can belong to and be accepted by God through the Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 1:6).1wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (KJV)
Five men who were kings have been missed out of the genealogy. These guys had everything going for them. They had riches, position and great reputation. These were:
Between Joram and Ozias (Matthew 1:8) three people are missed out. Joran was the son of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was a godly king, but he formed an alliance with Ahab and Jezebel, his wife, two very evil people. To cement the alliance Joram married Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. God had placed a curse on the whole family of Ahab because of their idolatry and murder. Jehoshaphat’s family in forming this union also came under the judgment of God. Thus, several generations are omitted from the genealogy.
• Joram dies of horrible diseases (2 Chronicles 21:19)
• Ahaziah, his son (called the son-in-law to the House of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:27) was slain by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27)
• Joash, the grandson, was slain by his servants (2 Kings 12:20)
• Amaziah, his great-grandson was slain by the people of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:19)
They all died violent or horrible deaths. In other words, God’s judgement on the idolatry and violence of the house of Ahab was fulfilled literally to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 20:4, 5) Their names were therefore blotted out of the genealogy according to the law. (Deuteronomy 29:20)
From this, we see the need to relate to people but not to be so joined with them we partake of their evil and the consequences that come with this. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Two other people are omitted between Josias and Jechonias (Matthew 1:11,12). These are Jehoiakim and his son Jechoniah. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the kingdom as an independent kingdom ended with the death of Josias at Meggido when Judah passed under the power of Egypt, and then Babylon. Secondly again these two men were extremely evil.
• Jehoiakim was omitted for that which was found in (‘on’ literally) him (2 Chronicles 36:8) which some people believe was an idolatrous tattoo on a par with the mark of the beast (Revelation 13)
• Jechoniah was blotted out because of the prophecy spoke against him in (Jeremiah 22:24-30). The Jeremiah prophecy excludes Jeconiah (also known as Coniah) with a command to write him childless with no man of his seed sitting on the throne of David. The problem of continuing the genealogy was resolved by Salathiel being included in the royal genealogy. Salathiel was not the natural child of Jechoniah. He was included in the genealogy through a provision made in the law from the Luke 3 genealogy.
God loves to accept the humble who have no reputation, but He will reject the proud and the rebellious no matter how good they look. We live in a world that consistently accepts the ‘beautiful’, the ‘intelligent’, the ‘wealthy’ and people at the top of ‘worldly hierarchies.’ I am so glad that God’s acceptance is not based on the criteria of the world because I certainly don’t rate highly on that. I also have to be careful to accept people on the right criteria. I am conscious that so often I have rejected people that God has accepted, (Matthew 19:30)230 But many will be last who are first, and first who are last.
Have you ever felt rejected? If so do you feel able to share this experience?
How can the teachings of the Bible help us to feel accepted?
How can we accept other people who the world rejects?