It’s understandable why Mary was the mother of Jesus. Sweet, pure, humble. Or at least that is how we think of her. And Joseph? Amazing man of God. Did not want to insult his girlfriend but “divorce her quietly.” Said yes to her and the Lord even though it was going to cause great shame.
But sometimes there are people in your family system that you are embarrassed and ashamed by. That is definitely the genealogy of Jesus. Remember Judah?
His first-born Er, the pride of his life, was plain evil. He married Tamar. But Er was so evil that God struck him down. Then his brother Onan according to the Law of Levirate marriage was to give Tamar a son to preserve the family line, but Onan spilled his semen on the ground so a child wouldn’t be born. He didn’t want to give his child to be under his brother’s name. So God struck him down.
Then Judah, having provided two evil sons to Tamar and who was responsible for her, promised his son Shelah. Shelah grew up and Judah didn’t deliver. So Tamar tricked Judah into having sexual relations and she became pregnant. Judah wanted to kill her until her found out that it was he who had made her pregnant.
Out of that union of father and daughter-in-law came two twins–Perez and Zerah. It was through Perez that the Messiah would come, that is Jesus.
And while all this isn’t pointed out specifically in the genealogy in Num 26, it alludes to the evil of Er and Onan who “died in the land of Canaan” (v. 19).
So what’s the point? Why do the genealogies keep bringing this up? We don’t know for sure, but we do know that they wanted to highlight the line of the Messiah.
But there are other implications in this. Jesus came into a very imperfect world from a very unsavory (and savory) line of people. Our family of origin or the country we were born in does not define us. It shapes us for sure. But it doesn’t define us. God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong, the foolish things to shame the wise. And in this case, ungodly people in the family to bring forth the Savior of the world.