Barry, a college friend of ours, was invited to speak at his old school Christian Union. The school staff were agog! Was this the same guy they had expelled for horrendous behaviour just a year or two earlier? They just couldn’t believe the change in this person! I guess it spoke louder to them about the saving grace and life-changing power of our Lord God than anything he could have said. It was certainly surprise day at that school!
One of the biggest surprises in the bible for me, is why Judah got picked to head up the tribe that eventually gave birth to Jesus. OK so his three elder brothers had all been disqualified for their bad behaviour, that put him at the head of the queue; but he was no saint either. Not only had he been the instigator of selling Joseph into slavery, but then he married a Canaanite woman, and the first two of his sons by her were so wicked that God put them to death. He then slept with his daughter-in-law, mistaking her for a prostitute. Amazingly, it was through Perez, a product of this sordid union, through whom our Lord’s lineage came. I just don’t get it!
But actually, it was not because of Judah himself. It was because Judah had a great, great…grandson whose name was David. He was not the eldest in his family either – the youngest in fact. Nor did his morals hit the high stakes – he was a murderer and an adulterer. But there was something special about him that God took to. David had a heart of love for God. And although Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, he was from the root of David. He was in fact, the ‘Son of David’ and the one who would fulfil this prophecy of Jacob over Judah’s lineage.
So the blessing was not because of what Judah had done, but because of his relationship to David, and what he would do. Like us. We get the blessings of God, not because we are good, but because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and our relationship with him.
And that’s why Barry was able to go and speak at his old school Christian Union. Not because of what he had done, but because of his relationship with Jesus, who had done a mighty work in him.
So the next time you say, “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not good enough for that,” remember, you can, and you are. Because of what Jesus has done for you, and what he can do in you.