EPISODE #1: Why Bodies Matter—Today’s podcast comes from Matthew 1:1-17, which might seem boring because it’s a genealogy, but Jesus’ story starts here, and this list of names is important. It reminds us that Jesus—the one who in just a few verses will be named God with us—came to us in a body. It reminds us why bodies matter.
I am inclined to skip over this section of the story—a list of largely unpronounceable names of people that I don’t remember, even after sitting through years of Sunday School as a kid. But Jesus’ story starts here, and this list of names matters for a host of reasons. One, it connects Jesus to the history of Israel and the promises made to the nation of Israel starting with Abraham all the way back in Genesis 12 (the first book of the Bible). Second, it is not a list of Israel’s finest. It includes outcasts and foreigners as well as luminaries of the faith. Jesus’ family history included prostitutes and adulterers and exile and deception. Jesus’ genealogy offers a subtle reminder of exactly the people Jesus comes into the world to care for. (To that point, take a look at the women included in this list!)
But another reason this part of the story matters is that it reminds us that Jesus was a real human being. It reminds us that Jesus was a kid with parents and grandparents. It reminds us that Jesus—the one who in just a few verses will be named God with us—came to us in a body.
In a general sense, we as a culture would like to avoid, ignore, deny, overcome, our bodies….
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