After the Fall, humans became compromised and sinful. Adam’s children born ‘in his own likeness, in his own image’ (Genesis 5:3) shared the same fatal DNA, and not before long, one killed the other. Man no longer had the image of God, but of self. Since then, we became known as the fallen race. Seeing our ever-increasing corruption, God sighs, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is corrupt’ (6:v3). Even after God wiped the earth with the Flood and left the family of Noah, wickedness still clung to man. In His master plan, God decided to first set aside a nation, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, as promised to Abraham. And within those Twelve tribes, God planned to visit mankind ‘in human likeness‘ (Philippians 2:7), to give us a final solution. By His divine will and purpose, He chose the tribe of Judah. Jacob, Judah’s father, even prophesies of this saying, ‘The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes from whom it belongs and the obedience of nations is his . . . he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk’ (Genesis 49:10, 11-12). Of course Judah did not fully grasp this blessing, and thought it was the usual saying of the old. For if he did, he would ask, ‘Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress’ (Isaiah 63:2). Then he would have heard the response, ‘I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no-one was with me. I trampled them in anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing’ (v3). Aaah, so it was blood of the human race, trampled down in anger. But by who exactly?
Judah had no clue. So his compromised blood continued circulating through his body. After his wife passed on, his blood started boiling. One day, as he walked about, he noticed a woman. ‘When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face’ (Genesis 38:15). Wickedness had intentionally placed the woman on Judah’s path. In fact, the woman was Judah’s daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was widowed with no children. Her blood longed for a child, and who best to provide one other than the father-in-law? Thought Wickedness. In fact, Wickedness gives more than what was bargained. Judah thought he was going after a prostitute, but Wickedness, as usual, added to the lewdness. ‘Not realising that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, ‘Come now, let me sleep with you’ (v16). At that time, however, there was no law to lay bare that prostitution or incest was wickedness. But after the Law, Moses blesses the tribe of Judah crying out, ‘Hear, O Lord, the cry of Judah; bring him to his people. With his own hands he defends his cause. Oh, be his help against his foes’ (Deuteronomy 33:7). Moses was beseeching for God’s ultimate plan to be established through Judah’s bloodline.
God decides to make a new start, and intervenes. From the Canaanites, God handpicks a prostitute to start a family with Judah’s fourth generation. Of course she does not remain a prostitute, nor in the idol-filled land. She had faith in God after she ‘heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of Jordan, whom you completely destroyed . . . for the Lord your God is in heaven above and on the earth below’ (Joshua 2:10,11). God seeing her enthusiasm about Him, not only spares her life, but includes her in Judah’s bloodline. ‘Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab’ (Matthew 1:5). Boaz their child was a man of good standing, respectable. God decides to give him a wife from the Moabites called Ruth. He relocates the family of Elimelech to where Ruth was in order to show Himself to Ruth through them. And Ruth loved this God of the Israelites such that when her husband died, she followed her mother-in-law saying, ‘Where you will go I will go, and where you will stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God’ (Ruth 1:16). Ruth left her gods not because of Naomi, but because of the God in Naomi. Such that when Boaz met Ruth, he tells her, ‘May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge’ (2:v12). God indeed blessed her and she got married to Boaz, entering Judah’s bloodline. ‘Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David’ (Matthew 1:5-6).
And King David was ‘a man after his (God’s) own heart’ (1 Samuel 13:14). So, God rubberstamps His covenant with him saying, ‘Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever?’ (2 Samuel 7:16). An immortal bloodline? The iron sceptre promised to Judah was finally being manifested. ‘From this man’s (David’s) descendants God has brought to Israel the Saviour Jesus, as he promised’ (Acts 13:23). But looking at the last generation before Christ’s birth, it is noted, ‘and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ’ (Matthew 1:17). So, biologically speaking, Jesus was not from Judah’s bloodline, the human bloodline. But the people did not know of His divine origin. And so, ‘He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph’ (Luke 3:23). In fact, Jesus was commonly referred to as the ‘Son of David’. No one except Mary, Joseph, and some God-fearing people knew His true identity, because He grew up like any other human child. But when Jesus came of age and started teaching and performing miracles, many sensed that His bloodline was different. They asked, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ (Matthew 13:54). But no one had proof that His bloodline was different because they had seen Him grow up, and so they exclaimed, ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things? And they took offense at him’ (v55-57). Never mind that their Scripture said, ‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us)’ (Isaiah 7:14).
God was with humans, but not many realized this. In fact, God had purposefully chosen to use the tribe of Judah as a guise for His true identity. He said, ‘Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they will see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed’ (6:v10). Paul even explains that ‘salvation came to the Gentiles to make Israel envious’ (Romans 11:11). And so, ‘Israel has experienced a blindness in part until the full number of gentiles has come in’ (v25). Jesus came in flesh in order to spill His blood, a blood not of human kind. That is why, though He ‘had been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15). And so, Jesus was different for He came from a different bloodline. He came to transfuse his blood not only to Israel, but to the world. But as Nicodemus asks, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time in his mother’s womb to be born!’ (John 3:4). But Jesus explains, ‘Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit’ (v6). And so, Jesus makes a distinction between us and Him. We are all born in the flesh, but He was not. He only came in the flesh to spill His blood in order to cleanse our bloodline, and that is why He could not be born through human lineage.
When Jesus’ blood was spilled, His Spirit was released. For ‘unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’ (12:v24). Seeds symbolize birth, new life. Just like Jesus was conceived without human seed, then we humans can be conceived with a seed, into His likeness. ‘The seed is the Word of God’ (Luke 8:11). When this seed enters a believing heart, they conceive, giving birth to a new man- the spiritual man. That is why Jesus said, ‘The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe’ (John 6:63-64). Unlike Rahab and Ruth who needed a male seed to have children, and carry on their lineage, Mary did not a male seed to conceive Jesus. The word of God that came to Mary through the angel of the Lord telling her, ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus’ (Luke 1:31), was what made her conceive. This is because the Word of God from the angel was seed, and because Mary believed, Jesus was conceived in her.
Likewise, anyone who believes in God’s Word conceives Jesus. For Jesus is the ‘Word of God’ (Revelation 19:13). That is why the Church is symbolically known as the Bride of Christ, because we have received the seed, the Word. For ‘in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1). Carrying Jesus in us is not a 9-month affair like it was for Mary, but it is permanent. He sets up residence there and gives us a new bloodline, the Spirit. ‘The first man Adam became a living being, the last Adam (Jesus) a life-giving Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15:45). So, the bloodline that one comes from does not matter. In fact, all human bloodline is tainted and sinful, from the sinful one of Adam all the way through Judah’s, David’s, and to ours. ‘Death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command’ (Romans 5:14). But once we have faith like Rahab, Ruth, David, and Mary, we allow Jesus to travel through our bloodline, and elevate our name and status. For ‘the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification’ (v16). When Jesus is in us by faith, He gives us an unrevoked credit. No wonder He is still called the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah (and) the Root of David’ (Revelation 5:5). Ultimately, it is not about one’s bloodline, but if Christ is birthed in their bloodline, in them. Hence, ‘let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom’ (Colossians 3:1).
‘Sanctify them by your truth, your Word is truth’ ~ John 17:17
‘The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that birds of the air come and perch in its branches‘ ~Matthew 23:31-32