A lesson – 2 Samuel 11:1-4a
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him
The fact that Matthew included Bathsheba in his version of Jesus’ genealogy, almost defies logic. He was under no obligation at all to include her as the mother of Solomon, for there are only four other names of
mothers in the whole genealogy. He could have glossed over the whole Bathsheba affair and no one would have criticized him for the omission.
In fact, they might have even breathed easier.
But, Matthew includes Bathsheba not by accident, but on purpose. For he is not trying to gloss over the complexities and awkwardness of human failing. I’d say “not even when telling the story of Jesus,” but in reality it’s “especially when telling the story of Jesus.”
King David saw a beautiful woman bathing on a nearby rooftop, and he had the palace guard go and fetch her. She was married, but that didn’t matter to him. When she became pregnant with their child he then arranged for her husband to be killed.
Matthew sees no reason to Photoshop this blemish out. No reason to silence the truth. It happened.
And, human failings continue to happen. Every day. By good people. By great people. By people of no consequence whatsoever. By us.
Jesus comes into the world because we need him to come. We need the grace and mercy that he brings. And in the manger and in the cross we need the holy reminder that God loves us, no matter what.
O God, thank you for the gift you give us in Bethlehem and on Calvary; the gift of your love and the promise of your grace even when we don’t deserve it. As we are day by day forgiven by you, help us to have the courage to forgive others, that your kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.