If we look at Jesus’ family tree (in Matthew), it doesn’t take long before we see scandal. Tamar is one of four women, in addition to Mary, who is mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, and her story is as scandalous as it gets.
Tamar was trapped in an unjust situation. She was also mired in tragedy. When she realized she was on her own, Tamar got…creative. When she had been written off, Tamar wrote a new story of righteousness.
Jesus’ birth means that God is writing the rest of the story. In Jesus, God is growing a family tree of unexpected saints–people for whom God defines reality, people who transcend the traps of life with God’s sense of power.
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Image: Judah and Tamar, School of Rembrandt