Recently, we’ve had elections here in the United States. Whenever a person is running for office, even the most minute and seemingly insignificant of positions, the voters want to know their background. Right? To make an educated decision on who to vote for, we want to know how they’ve voted before and what they stand for. Often, the less information we have on their voting stance, the more we rely upon their character. Things like their lineage are important as well. After all, if Hitler’s great-great grandson were running for office, who would vote for him knowing his background? It would take considerable evidence of good judgment and character to deter people from thinking about Hitler.

Although no one can control their lineage. It’s still important because it shows us where we came from and where we might go. In other areas, like marriage, people want to know the background of their prospective spouse before getting married.

When I think about it, we do “background” checks for all sorts of things. Before moving to a new place, we check it out. If we want a loan, we’re checked out, and if we’re attentive, we also check out the lender. Companies perform background checks before hiring, and we do the same for teachers, preachers, etc. Without a doubt, background matters.

The Gospel of Matthew opens with this verse:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:1 (NIV)

As we read through this genealogy, certain names stand out for different reasons. Here are some and why they stand out.

Perez – A product of incest. (Matthew 1:3, Genesis 38:16)

Ruth – A Moabite (Matthew 1:5, Ruth 1:4)

David – A murderer and an adulterer (Matthew 1:6, 2 Samuel 11)

Solomon – An idolater (Matthew 1:7, 1 Kings 11:3)

Manasseh – One of Judah’s most evil kings (Matthew 1:10, 2 Kings 21:11)

Of course, David was also a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22), while Hezekiah and Josiah were faithful men who loved God. Yet, when I read through Jesus’ genealogy, Hezekiah and Josiah don’t stand out like those other names. Why is that? Why does it stand out that Perez was a product of incest, Ruth a Moabite, and David a murderer and adulterer? Not to mention Solomon and Manasseh.

I think an answer lies in King David, who was a man after God’s own heart despite the sins he committed. I don’t know about you, but when I first think about David, it’s not the slaying of Goliath I think about first. It’s the death of Uriah the Hittite and his affair with Bathsheba. It’s how David sinned against God by counting the troops, causing the death of 70,000 people. I don’t count those things against David so much. I think about them because God redeemed David from those things and still called David a man after his own heart!

If David, a man born under the Old Covenant, can be redeemed by the Lord and called a man after his own heart, how much more can I, someone covered in the blood of Jesus, under a new and better covenant? As for everyone else in Jesus’ “background,” it doesn’t matter who they were or what they did or didn’t do; what matters is the redemptive power of God at work in each of us.

“Without a doubt, background matters;” to us. It doesn’t matter to God. What matters to God is who we are right now. If we are saved, God sees us covered with the blood of Jesus no matter what we do or where we come from. David was a man after God’s heart, not because David was perfect, but because David repented when he messed up. David earnestly wanted God’s will in his life, and that’s what God wants from us. A faithful heart that loves and trusts Him.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.