No, he couldn’t. Sin had invaded the genealogy and he had to paste the brokenness up front of Jesus’ story for all to see. Matthew’s main audience was Jews, and they would not have breezed by this tidbit without stopping and remembering. They knew the story. Matthew shoves the shameful moment of their past to the forefront, reminding them–and us–that God’s ways are more powerful than our brokenness. That the Redeemer of each man’s story is also the Redeemer of the grand scheme of things.
Yes, Matthew had to say “by the wife of Uriah” and not “Bathsheba.” It’s there for us all to relate to. We’re kidding ourselves if we sit down to read the Christmas story and expect a holy Pollyanna tale. I can’t come to Jesus looking pretty so why should I want my Bible to be pretty, to cover up the ugly?
Some want it that way. They do. They want tales of courage and hope, a nice good overcoming evil saga. The Bible is that–and so much more. It’s God’s goodness overcoming personal brokenness because the sinner falls on his face before God, not because the sinner finds the loop hole out of a bad situation.
Jesus might have come from the Heavenly Father and been born of the Virgin Mary, but He was clothed in flesh and the lineage of that flesh gave witness to the reason for his coming.
I need this broken reality to be in my Bible. I need to know that the heritage of faith I come from is full of regret and bad choices. Sin. It’s laden with sin. And how can it not be? God didn’t impose his redemption over a sinful people, he wove it into their lives and brought about reconciliation between God and man through the ugliness of man’s choices.
Only a Sovereign God can do that. And only a people who recognize brokenness in their own stories will appreciate and truly get why the reality of sin has to permeate the pages of God’s Story.