How does one become a king?
Sure, holding the title requires a certain level of responsibility. They probably have an unmatched knowledge of their country and may take part in making policies and sponsoring organizations within their borders. Their royal presence is considered an honor, and often a prerequisite, for most high-profile functions. But is that it? Can anyone apply for the job?
That would be a resounding no!
What is one of the first requirements to holding the title of king? Usually lineage. Nine times out of ten, if you consider the ancestry of royals you will find, well . . . not surprisingly, more royals. You would expect a king to have a royal pedigree, and your expectation would be confirmed most of the time.
Then there is Jesus.
Yes, I know, His father is God. (It doesn’t get much more royal than the King of Kings.) But I’m not talking about His heavenly ancestry. Rather, I’m talking about His earthly one. He was not born into your average, everyday royal family tree. How do I know? Well, if you look at Matthew chapter 1, there are 17 verses covering the lineage from Abraham to Christ Himself. In this list, you will find royal greats like King David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. Doesn’t sound like a shabby family tree at all.
But let’s start at the beginning of Matthew’s list with Abraham. Most of us know his story, but just in case, let’s do a quick overview: Abraham was a common but righteous man of God who lived with his wife, Sarah. Unfortunately, he and his wife were unable to bear children. However, after they were well past their child-bearing years God told them that they were to not only have a child, but their descendants would outnumber the stars. There really was nothing special about Abraham, except for his devotion to God and his willing heart to serve Him. Could God have given Abraham and Sarah a child in their younger years? Yes. Of course, He could. Why did He choose to wait for the seemingly impossible? Maybe to show Abraham, Sarah and us that nothing is impossible with God. Maybe to show them that He could use a barren couple for His glory.
Let’s look at Matthew’s list again.
Boaz. Who is Boaz? He was the son of Rahab. Rahab was, of all things, a harlot. (That’s biblical speak for a prostitute.) And that’s not all . . . a Canaanite harlot. Wait, surely God couldn’t use someone like her: but He did. Rahab helped two Israelite spies escape capture in Jericho. She had heard of their God and believed, and God not only spared her life, but also her family’s. Wow. God really can use anyone!
How about Ruth? She wasn’t even from Israel. She was a Moabite! That can’t be right. Aren’t Mary and Joseph Jewish? Yes, they are. Her story is very intriguing. After living in Moab her whole life, her beloved husband passed away, and she moved with her widowed mother-in-law back to Naomi’s original home in Bethlehem (sound familiar?). She left everything she knew behind and ended up marrying a Jewish man, all because of her love for God. How can this be? After all, these kinds of actions were unacceptable during this time period. A Jew would never think about marrying a Gentile! But it happened, and God used it to bring Him glory.
Not really the expected ancestry of a royal, is it? So why did the King of Kings choose such a humble beginning for His time on earth? Why didn’t He choose a strong, well-renowned, morally upright family, and enjoy a grand entrance?
We can never really know the answer for sure, but I believe that part of the reason was to reveal His character. Think about it. When He could have picked any family, he chose to be born to a humble virgin girl and her fiancée, a lowly carpenter. What could He have possibly been teaching us?
God can use anyone for His glory.
I feel like this is something that a lot of us struggle with. It’s easy to think we have nothing to offer our very great God. I know I do not come from a royal pedigree. I don’t even have a lot of money or fame to use for His glory. Sometimes we feel like we might be too young, too old or maybe just “too damaged.” Do your current circumstances leave you thinking that God could never use you?
Not only can God use you; He wants to use you. Yes you!
Look back in Scripture at the great Biblical heroes. God enjoyed taking the insignificant and small things and giving them a holy purpose. He gave the humble and willing the greatest opportunities to serve Him. David? A shepherd. Moses? A baby in hiding. Esther? A young girl living in a foreign land. Don’t forget Daniel, a simple captive. Jonah, a disgraced preacher. All of these believers had one thing in common–God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV) – But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
God chose Mary and Joseph. From the Scriptures, I cannot tell that either had fame or money for Him to use. But just maybe that is why He chose them. To show us that He didn’t need them to be wealthy or strong for His glory. He just needed a willing heart.
Here’s a challenge. I challenge you to go through and read through Matthew 1 yourself. Do a little bit of research into his family tree (preferably someone that I haven’t already mentioned). I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find. I know that I was, and I hope you will be too.