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Day 7 of 28: A Tale of 5 Women



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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A Tale of 5 Women

For years, I used to let my brain tune out whenever I stumbled upon a geneaology in the Bible. Sometimes I just skipped right over it.

I never understood the writer taking all this time to scribe a never-ending family tree of hard-to-pronounce names of people who we don’t even know.

But here’s the thing about the Bible that I’ll never stop stressing: there are no accidents. Every detail, word, and geneaology holds purpose.

If the writer is taking the time to write down a winding lineage, we are meant to read the lineage and take note of it.

I invite you to open up your Bible to the beginning of Matthew and read chapter 1:1-17. If you can, read the passages out loud and stammer your way through the challenging name pronunciations. 

You are reading the genealogy of Jesus.  The lineage of a God who put on flesh and came down from Heaven, not to leave things as they’d always been but to change the entire story and flip everything on its head. 

You can see the start of that new way of life sitting right there in this lineage.

The genealogy of Jesus includes the names of 5 women– Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. 

I can’t stress enough how incredibly rare this was. Women were typically never listed in a lineage during these times. 

You’d imagine that if women were to be included in a lineage then they’d be some stellar women by societal standards. They’d be the best of the best citizens. They’d have no crimes on their records and no embarrassing stories attached to their names.

The women mentioned in the lineage of Jesus leading up to Mary— Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba— had occupations we lay heavy stigmas on all the time. Some of them come from people groups that were entirely discounted at that point in history. Some of them lied. Some of them committed adultery. Bathsheba (referred to as “Uriah’s wife” in the lineage) slept with David before he conspired to kill her husband. Bathsheba is often used as an example in churches of “who not to be.” 

Tamar is most known for that one time she dressed up as a prostitute and tricked her father-in-law into having sex with her so she could carry a son through her dead husband’s bloodline. Strangely, they don’t cover that story in the Jesus Storybook Bible.

So why…?

Why include these messy stories in the lineage leading up to Jesus?

Jesus, our perfect King, should have an ideal lineage… right?

The lineage of Jesus begins with imperfection. It unfolds because of our fault lines. And though our God is perfect and makes no mistakes, he makes it evident in this genealogy that he is not discounting anyone. All are welcome at this new table.

In this new story, no person will be scrapped because they don’t fit the mold. This isn’t a story for the people trying to be perfect– it’s a story for the people who know they need a Savior. 

This Savior comes for all of us. 

He reaches for you and me and our incredibly jacked-up moments where we’ve lied, cheated, stolen, gossiped, slandered, and lost our way. He comes to blot that stuff out, not to hang it over our heads or turn us into examples of “who not to be.” 

This lineage is a gut check for all of us. For all of us who have ever looked at someone who didn’t live like we live or act how we wanted them to act and— instead of choosing to love them anyway— we made snap judgments, discounted them, or burned them behind their back.

This lineage is proof that Jesus came into into the world to flip it. It’s proof he came for all of us, not some of us. It’s proof he looks past our circumstances and loves us, even when we feel like we don’t deserve it.

Let’s not take Jesus’ love and turn it into this stingy, self-serving, only-love-people-when-they-meet-your-expectations kind of love because that’s not Jesus’ love at all. Why take a love that is so miraculous and expansive and try to shove it into a narrow little box? 

Jesus came for anyone who has ever been lost and that’s all of us. He came for the hopeless. For the marginalized. For the torn down by society. For the ones on the borders. For the trolls on Facebook. He came for the people you love and the people you blocked. All of us. The table gets longer and longer. Scoot over and make some room.


Matthew 1:1-17

Steal This Prayer

Dear God, thank you for putting a story into motion that makes room for all of us, for not looking past me when I made mistakes but using those mistakes to amplify your coming Son. Help me to love like Jesus, see like Jesus, accept like Jesus, and gather like Jesus. Make me more like him.

I Love Hearing from You!

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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