This term in Durham college CUs the small groups are looking together at the five women who are mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, found in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel.
I was pretty excited about it as a series, and I’m even more excited about it since meeting with a couple of leaders to go through one of the passages with them yesterday.
In that genealogy 47 people are mentioned by name. Starting with Abraham and ending with Jesus. In the list of 47 people are 5 women.
That’s quite weird – not, that are only 5 women, but that there are any women at all. Women just don’t appear in your average biblical genealogy, so the appearance of any female names is supposed to make us take a wee bit of notice.
But, what’s weirder is that of all of the women that could have been mentioned (and by my maths – which is, admittedly, not a gift of mine – they could have referenced at least 41) these are the five chosen.
We might expect important women, powerful women, brilliant women, morally upright women. But that isn’t what we get. The women who are mentioned are women with baggage; scandal, sin, dubious backgrounds, innuendo, and whispers. These aren’t the women we expect, and they’re not the women most people would choose. But God chooses them.
Over the next five weeks Fridays will be about these women, and I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
In summary: 5.