Adoption and Advent
God has taught me so much about His Father’s heart and my spiritual adoption as His son through the miracles of my children’s physical adoption, but this Christmas season I realized afresh that His entire redemptive plan hinged on it.
The Gospels start with “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:” Matthew starts his writings about Jesus with a listing of his heritage. He does this because at least seven distinct prophecies about the Messiah speak of his royal bloodline. If Jesus was not of the tribe of Judah and more specifically in the line of King David, the rest of Matthew’s story would be about a great man and teacher but not the Messiah. So Matthew sets the table for the whole story of redemption in a genealogy. There is only one problem…Jesus wasn’t genetically related to Joseph!
Both Luke and Matthew trace Jesus’ lineage through Joseph, yet both authors tell of the virgin birth of Jesus through Mary. How then could Jesus be the Messiah? Only through adoption! According to the Jewish Talmud, “whoever brings up an orphan in his home, scripture ascribes it to him as though he had begotten him” (Talmud Mas. Sanhedrin 19b)”
By bringing up Jesus in his home as his son, that is exactly what Jesus became, his adopted son! “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt 13:55)
Joseph didn’t plan on being so entwined in the salvation of the world. In fact Scripture shares of his reservations before his obedience (a very early example of ‘ReluctantHusband Syndrome’?). But aren’t you glad that he became Jesus’ earth father so that God could become our heavenly father?
C.S. Lewis said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
If I can presume to edit C.S. Lewis, I would write, “The Son of God became the son of Joseph to enable men to become sons of God.”
What a beautiful picture… the miracle of adoption at both ends of God’s redemptive story!
His driver’s license says he is 6 feet tall, has brown hair and eyes, and is an organ donor… but to know Nathan is to know him as Ellie and Reni’s dad, Cydil’s husband, and passionate lover of missions and adoption (which he sees as one and the same). Nathan and his family will spend next Christmas (and many thereafter) in Albania, the land which gave them their kids and stole their hearts. Read their blog to follow their preparations for the mission field, thoughts on adoption, and living life as a follower of Jesus wherever this journey takes them.