The four different gospel writers designed their accounts with four different audiences in mind, but all emphasize that Christ came for all people.
Concerning Jesus’ birth, Luke records the angel saying, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (2:10).
In his first chapter, Matthew goes even further back to demonstrate this by using a genealogy. We don’t tend to bother as much with ancestral lists today, and many of us probably skip right over it. But for Matthew’s Jewish audience, genealogies were highly valued and read carefully.
Two things stand out:
- Five women are mentioned—These lists typically give the name of prominent men only. To see any woman mentioned was rare, let alone five!
- Not all the people listed were of Jewish ancestry—Rahab was a Caananite who joined the Jewish community. Ruth was a Moabite. The wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) was possibly Jewish but her husband Uriah is pointed out in the Old Testament as “Uriah the Hittite.”
Women matter and all ethnicities matter. But Matthew goes on to make an even bolder point in his second chapter—you don’t have to be a part of the Jewish community to worship God.
Rahab, though a Caananite, married into a Jewish family. Ruth, though a Moabite, again married into a Jewish family. Uriah served the King of Israel.
But not so with the Magi. They traveled to Israel, saying “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” After they found him they presented him with costly gifts and returned home.
Jesus Christ is a Savior for all mankind—men and women, rich and the poor, black and white, young and old.