The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: - Matthew 1:1
A tzaddik was called to be the elder of a wealthy church in a large metropolitan city. Shortly after his arrival, some of the more prominent members invited him to lunch. Hoping to impress their new elder, they each began listing their various exalted positions within the social strata of that great city. As the conversation progressed, they started discussing their heritage. “My ancestors came over on the Mayflower” claimed one. “I list Robert the Bruce as one of my ancestors” boasted another.
The tzaddik had listened quietly up to this point, but as the boasts began to be more and more apparent, he softly cleared his voice and put down his coffee cup. As the eyes of his parishioners turned expectantly toward him, he reminded them of their true heritage. “I,” he gently stated, “am a child of God.” (John 1:12)
We humans are easily sidetracked by pride. “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone” the Pharisees boasted (John 8:33). They were forgetting that their heritage included 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They forgot that they had been conquered by the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, the Philistines, the Hittites and the Greeks. At the time of their boast, they were effectively subjugated by the Romans. The Master had come to offer them the Kingdom, but they turned from His offer in order to more effectively cling to their own pride.
We must beware of anything that would cause us to lean on something other than Christ. “We have the fastest growing church.” “We have the biggest church.” “We have the most famous pastor.” “Our pastor is on such and such a board.” “We read the Bible cover to cover once a year.” Our vain boasting goes on.
If there was ever anyone who could boast, it was our Master. By virtue of Joseph’s adoption, the Lord could legally claim the throne of Israel. But far greater than the claim to the throne of some poor back-water Middle Eastern subjugated kingdom is His claim to have personally seen and been sent by God Himself (John 6:46)!
If we are to be His disciples, we must imitate His mindset. Nothing we do should be motivated by selfishness or empty conceit. We must humbly consider our brothers and sisters in Christ as more important than ourselves and not merely look out for our own interests but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-11). When we do this, we are clearly demonstrating that God is our Father and Christ our brother (Hebrews 2:11). We can then take appropriate pride in our blue blood.
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