Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Matthew 1; Mark 12:35–37; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Romans 5:8; John 2:25; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 2:1–14
There is a growing body of evidence to prove that Vikings probably brought back Native American wives to Iceland long before Columbus came to the New World. Their barbaric reputation doesn’t seem to indicate they were very sophisticated, but these well-traveled Germanic Norse seafarers were more than noble savages. DNA testing by the University of Iceland of four different families has shown a clear link to a genetic variant found only among Native Americans and those of East Asian blood.1
The acid molecule of a DNA double helix packs a lot of information that science continues to unlock. Some researchers believe the secret to eternal life is hidden within the human genome. There is actually an “immortality drive” located on the International Space Station that contains digitalized DNA sequences of prominent (and questionable) people. Should an apocalyptic event destroy the planet, these hard drives of genome data will (according to some scientists) resurrect humanity.
In our Sabbath school for this new quarter, we delve into the book of Matthew, which begins with a genealogy that leads us to the source of eternal life, Jesus Christ. In one sense, Matthew probably would not have wanted his DNA tested or his background checked since he was considered a traitor. He worked as a tax collector for the enemy—Rome. But when Jesus called this unlikely turncoat to become a disciple, the Savior didn’t look at Matthew’s DNA. Christ knows everyone has skeletons in their closet. Jesus was more interested in looking at his heart.
Even Jesus’ own family tree was full of questionable characters like Tamar, a woman who disguised herself as a prostitute in order to get pregnant; Ruth, a Moabite foreigner who married an Israelite; and King David, whose murder of Uriah in order to steal his wife makes you realize how the Lord can reach anyone. Obviously, if this was the DNA that became part of Christ’s own life, there is more to life than deoxyribonucleic acid.
Since the fall of our first parents, our DNA has been damaged. Human nature has not developed over the centuries to produce better characters. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” says Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 53:6). Without divine intervention the entire race was doomed.
Matthew introduces us to a Savior who entered into our genealogical mess and offered us eternal life. It came through Jesus’ sacrifice. The rest of Isaiah’s prophecy explains, “And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Matthew affirms that the Son of David “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Christ will not only repair our damaged DNA, but will transform our minds and hearts.
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