Friends, today’s Gospel records the genealogy of Jesus. It was desperately important for Matthew to show that Jesus didn’t just appear out of the blue. Rather, he came out of a rich, densely textured history. St. Irenaeus tells us that the Incarnation had been taking place over a long period of time, with God gradually accustoming himself to the human race.
Look at this long line of characters: saints, sinners, cheats, prostitutes, murderers, poets, kings, insiders, and outsiders—all leading to the Christ. Of course, King David is mentioned. He was, without doubt, a great figure, the king who united the nation. But he was also an adulterer and a murderer.
From this long line of the great and not-so-great, the prominent and obscure, saints and sinners, and kings and paupers came “Jesus who is called the Messiah.” God became one of us, in all of our grace and embarrassment, in all of our beauty and ordinariness. God had a series of human ancestors, and, like most families, they were kind of a mixed bag. And what good news this is for us! It means that God can bring the Christ to birth even in people like us.