Alex Haley became a household word and an instant millionaire when he wrote a book tracing his ancestry back to his “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” Most of us have some interest in our genealogy because somehow it connects us to our ancestors. Most of us also find some ancestors we would rather not be identified with. Jesus had such ancestors, but he chose to identify himself with them, (Matthew 1:1-17). I would like for us to look at several of them today. [A sermon by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Used with permission.]

1. Tamar the woman Schemer

A. We meet her in Genesis 38. She was married to the family of Abraham (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Er). We also meet three brothers: Er, Onan, and Shelah.

B. Tamar was married to Er, but he was killed. Law required Onan to take her as a wife. He refused to give her a child & died. Only Shelah remained and he was too young.

C. Judah sent her home to her parents and conveniently forgot about her. Angered, she posed as a prostitute and seduced Judah, requiring a guarantee of payment which she hid and kept.

D. Not knowing that the child was his, Judah hypocritically demanded her death. She produced the proof of his sin. Twins were born to her, one of whom was Perez, an ancestor of Jesus.

2. Rahab the lying Prostitute

A. We meet her in Joshua 2; 6:22-25. Gentile woman who lived in Canaan when Israel first marched into the Promised Land. Joshua sent two spies into Jericho, and they visited the house of a prostitute.

B. Somehow, she discovered that they were spies and arranged to hide them in exchange for the safety of her family.

C. When the king came looking for them, she lied about their whereabouts, and they were able to escape.

D. When Jericho fell, Joshua spared her and her family. She gave birth to Boaz, the great grandfather of King David.

3. David the lustful Murderer

A. We all know the story in 2 Samuel 11, 12 by heart. David was king by God’s choice.

B. He had become a great king and his heart was filled with pride and presumption.

C. He saw Bathsheba bathing and wanted her for himself. She became pregnant and David plotted the murder of her husband, Uriah, to cover his tracks.

D. He then took her as his wife. Though that child died, Bathsheba later gave birth to Solomon, the ancestor of Jesus. David and Bathsheba were equally guilty.


A. Jesus wasn’t ashamed of Tamar: Life had been cruel, with 2 husbands dead, and no source of support. Tamar was hurt and vengeful. How many of us here have been the victims of unfairness in life?

B. Jesus wasn’t ashamed of Rahab: Rahab had lost her self-respect. She sold her body and soul to the highest bidder. She lied to protect herself. Jesus was not ashamed of Rahab and included her in Faith’s Hall of fame (Hebrews 11:31).

C. Jesus wasn’t ashamed of David: No one mourned more for his sin than David himself did. Nobody ever paid more for his sin. (The baby died, His son raped his sister, and Absalom led a rebellion. He never achieved the greatness he could have. How many times must he have wished he could undo what he had done.)

D. You and me! Like Tamar, you have deceived. Like Rahab, you have compromised your moral integrity. Like David, you have sinned. The good news is God forgives! He is not ashamed of you? The question is will you let Him?

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