As He is preparing to lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land, Joshua sends two spies into Jericho to survey their first adversary. While they are in the city, they enter the home of Rahab the prostitute, who hides them from the city guards and sends them home safely. Because of her faithfulness toward the people of God, her and her family are spared when the Israelites overtake the city, but that is not the end of her story. Listen to these words:
… and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
This is take from the Gospel of Matthew, and it is part of the genealogy of Jesus. Rahab, a foreign woman and a prostitute, is a ancestor in the direct line of Jesus Christ!
Now let me ask you this, If God saw fit to include a woman such as Rahab in the ancestry of Jesus, why do we find it so difficult to believe that God would include people of a similar nature among the “descendants” of Jesus? (obviously a “descendant” here means one who comes after, not a great-great grandchild)
This passage always reminds me of the type of people who are the closest to the heart of Jesus throughout His life, the lost, the broken, the tax collector, the prostitute, the sinner, the foreigner, and the child. God’s heart is filled with compassion for those who are most desperately lost, and we must respond in kind. If we truly believe that to love others is a direct outworking of loving God, then let us love others with a kind of the love that the world does not yet know, a love that is self-sacrificing, that is forgiving of even the most bitter enemies, a love that genuinely cares for unborn babies and widows, gang-bangers and the handicapped, homosexuals and prostitutes.