Monday, August 19, 2019


The word fulfilled is not hard to parse.  But I think it is a word we sometimes take for granted and don't take in its full meaning.  My favorite way of looking at the word is to flip-flop the two parts.
Filled and full are those two parts.

The entire book of Matthew, and much of the Gospel, is filled with the word 'fulfilled.'  It starts with Jesus coming into the world through a seemingly-chaotic mixture of Jews and Gentiles, as reported in Chapter one of Matthew.  Matthew says, in Chapter 1, verse 22 "All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message."  The world is, in Matthew's view, filled-full of God's message and plan through the birth of Jesus.  That fullness is for Jew and Gentile and it happened through the lives and actions of both.

When we are filled-full of Jesus, what should happen?  In Matthew some amazing things take place:

1.  A direct connection is made to the Abrahamic Covenant.  God, in Genesis 12, says "I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted."  Matthew 1 recounts how Jesus is connected to the completion of  God's plan.  Jesus fulfills us by completing God's plan in and through us.

2.  Matthew 1 tells a story of victory out of defeat.  David's great grandmother, Ruth, is lost, defeated and gleaning wheat in the field of Boaz.  It is a beautiful love story in which Boaz sees beauty, grace and 'fulfillment' in the person of Ruth.  Their story is a story of victory as the Gentile (a Moabite woman), Ruth, meets and marries Boaz, father of Jesse (who was the father of David).  In this story we all see how God takes the non-chosen and lifts them to a place of royalty.  I hope you can see your victory in the fulfillment of God's work in Ruth.

3.  There is wholeness and redemption in this genealogy.  Bathsheba, is named in the genealogy as the mother of Solomon, the result of an illicit affair with King David.  Rather than being left out of the genealogy, Bathsheba is named, pronouncing both honesty and directness in how God's fulfillment works.  I believe David and Bathsheba's affair is included in Jesus ancestry so that we can see the power of God's plan through our failures, the redemption that comes through God in spite of our 'messes' and so that we can see God's ability to make whole the things we break.

4.  There is a strength and grit of the people in this genealogy.  In the song Amazing Grace we all remember the verse, "Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come ... tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will bring me home."  Those words resound through the story of God's people and the people in Matthew 1.

There are kings, consorts, warriors, beggars, Jews, Gentiles and overcomers.  We are reminded that our status in life and even our sins will not destroy or impede God's plan.  For God, His Word, and His plan will endure forever.  For us the genealogy is a call to fight, persist, allow God's redemption, participate in God's victory and realize that Philippians 1:6 is right ... "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ returns."  I pray you will be certain, participatory and fulfilled (filled-full) of God's work as you become fully immersed in Him!  Amen!  Randy

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