Devotional by Sandi Patty (2000)
“A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
The genealogy recorded here in Matthew seems, at first glance, a big waste of time and very unnecessary. Then as I recall from Bible 101 in my college days, I remember that Matthew had a specific purpose for writing his gospel. He was “targeting his audience” as some would say because he was specifically writing to the Hebrew people who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. He began by connecting Jesus, not only to his Jewish heritage, but also to the Old Testament prophecies. He connected Jesus to King David through his earthly father’s, Joseph, lineage - “Joseph, of the house of David.”
Matthew was passionate about his Messiah, yet he knew that for the Hebrew people to hear what he had to say, he had to speak a common language.
I think this is an incredibly valuable example and lesson for all of us. If we want to communicate to a person or a group, we must find out about that person or group. What makes them tick, what are they passionate about, what are their likes and dislikes? Then try to find a common language that helps you communicate and, more importantly, helps them hear.
Jesus used parables throughout his entire ministry for this very purpose. When he talked to fishermen, he used the illustrations about being ‘fishers of men.’ That’s something that Peter, James, and John could relate to. When he talked to the woman at the well, he first found out where she was in her life, and then shared with her in a way that she could hear.
As a performer, one of my philosophies has always been to “go to the audience, don’t make them come to you.” I try to do a little research before each performance to find out about the audience. Then I feel like if I can better share with them things in a way they will understand. For example, telling kid stories to a group of businessmen is a bad idea, but telling mom tales to a group of mothers of preschoolers will probably be a big homerun.
Excerpt from devotional Someday: A Book of Days
Copyright © 2000 by Sandi Patty
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