The Good News About Your “Messed Up” Family

Family-Christmas2The countdown is here!!! Christmas is just around the corner. By now you might be jamming to “Grandma Just Got Run Over By a Reindeer” in your car, sippin’ on some eggnog (Okay. Does anyone even drink that stuff anymore?), and anticipating the joy of friends and family.

But for many of us, Christmas and family aren’t always things to look forward to.

Recently I asked a friend about her plans for Christmas. Dread flowed from her mouth as she began to tell me about her “messed up” family:

“Christmas for me is always tough. My mom stresses me out. I have to travel to three homes because of my parents’ divorce. And there is always some drama that happens behind the scene. Maybe I should stay home this Christmas.”


As my friend toiled about her family situation, my heart sank. But she is not alone. Families today aren’t like the those found in the sitcoms of years past. Think: Leave it to Beaver, The Brady Bunch, and my 80s fav, The Cosby Show. (If you haven’t heard of any of those shows, just write me off an old fart and continue reading.)

The point is that families from the sitcom era seem foreign — everyone had perfect teeth, parents were happily married, and every problem was solved within 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, modern family life isn’t so simple, and the Good News for you and me is that Jesus can relate. His family had serious issues, too.

LOOK WHO’s IN LINE!  (Genealogy of Jesus)

Consider, for example, that super long scriptural reading that always sends you daydreaming by the fifth word. That’s because every sentence begins with “So-and-so begot So-and-so…” until they finally get to Jesus. (Math 1:1-25)

I used to wonder why they wasted so much time talking about Jesus’ family tree. Yes, the blood line of Christ points us to the promise of the true messiah. But there is another reason the Church in her wisdom showcases Jesus’ family tree: to remind us of the fact that not everyone in Jesus’ family was perfect.

In fact, David and Saul (one of the first names listed) were infamous for their acts of adultery. Ahaz was a corrupt king and idolator. Ruth was a result of insest. Rahab was a prostitute . Rehoboam (Matthew 1:7, cf. 1 Kings 12:1–24), was a hot-tempered, narcissist who lusted for power. How Embarrassing!?

No, Not for Jesus.


In God’s family, He is not ashamed to call us brothers (Hebrews 2:11). He is not above associating with those from whom we’d rather keep our distance. He rose (literally) above it. And we can too.

When you’re hanging out with your family this Christmas thinking about how frustrating everyone can be, or if you find yourself thinking that you’re doomed because your entire family is nuts, try to remember that even our Savior’s family tree has a few blemishes. He is not ashamed to call them or us brothers and sisters. He came into the world to redeem the worst, like Rahab, Rehoboam, you, and me.


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