More About the Roots of That Family Tree

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We live in a place where a person’s family of origin means more than it has in other places where we have lived. When an elderly lady became part of our church after moving back into our community to live near her daughter, one of the first things I learned about her was that she is Miss Mary’s cousin. As I have mentioned before, when someone in our area announces in the newspaper that he or she is running for county clerk, board member of the local telephone cooperative, or some other office, the article tells who his parents are.

During most of our adulthood, when Ray and I have met someone new, we have asked (and answered) questions like:  “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?” Around here it’s, “Who were your mama and daddy?” The same was true in ancient Israel.

Many, many verses in the Bible are devoted to who was whose son and who was whose father. For example, Matthew begins:

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah,
the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob,
and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. . . .
Matthew 1:1-3

When Jesus asked Simon Peter who he (Peter) said that He was,

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:16

Jesus’ response to Peter was:

“Blessed are you, Simon Barjona,
because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,
but My Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 16:17

Peter knew it mattered who Jesus’ Father was.

Bar means “son of” in Aramaic. For some reason, at this crucial moment during Jesus’ time on earth, when Peter made this great confession of his faith in who Jesus really was, Jesus responded with the one and only mention in the Bible of who Simon Peter’s father was, too.

When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years,
he became the father of a son in his own likeness,
according to his image, and named him Seth.
Genesis 5:3

All of us people made in the image of God are also in the image of our own mamas and daddies.

Wilbur and Orville Wright's brother Lorin pulls his three-year-old daughter on a sled, 1901. Courtesy Library of Congress
Wilbur and Orville Wright’s brother Lorin pulls his three-year-old daughter Leontine on a sled, 1901. Courtesy Library of Congress

Yesterday I wrote about the roots of a new kind of family tree. As we grow those roots, we have to think about what to hold onto and what to root out of the roots we already have from our own mamas and daddies, while we remember in whose image God wants each of us to become:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined
to become conformed to the image of His Son,
so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren . . .
Romans 8:28-29

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