Last weekend in my homily I talked about all the unique characters in Jesus’ parables. Many of them were not the most upstanding, and for most of His listeners they were disturbing. Jesus was not entertaining, His parables were meant to challenge old ways of thinking. Actually this was nothing new of God. All we need to do is study the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. God used many different people in His plan of our salvation. I do not believe I am being irreverent in my next paragraphs. In fact I think it should give all of hope that we can be of use to God in some way regardless of our past.
I want to look at some of our great spiritual people of the past that God choose. Noah was a drunk, Abraham was way too old to have children, while Isaac was a daydreamer of big things, and Jacob was a liar. Moses could not talk and had to have someone else talk for him, Gideon was afraid, and Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer. King David had an affair, was a murderer and Isaiah preached naked in the streets. The Prophet Jonah ran away from God and Job went bankrupt. There were others in the Old Testament, but let’s not forget the New Testament. John the Baptist ate bugs and good old St. Peter denied Christ. The Disciples fell asleep while Christ prayed and St. Paul was too religious. Timothy had an ulcer and Lazarus was dead.
Sarah was the wife of Abraham and she was extremely impatient. She was not able to conceive a child so she influenced Abraham to have a child with her slave starting a conflict that continues today. At the age of 90 God answered her prayer and she bore a son, Isaac. Through Isaac her son, came the nation of Israel, which gave us Jesus Christ.
Rebekah married Isaac and bore twin sons. She favored Jacob the youngest and through a trick helped him into receiving his fathers blessing, rather than Esau, who was the first-born. God took her mistake and created good by the passing of the blood line for the Nation of Israel from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob.
Jacob worked seven years to win Rachel for his wife. Her father substituted Leah instead, hidden behind her veil. Thus Jacob had to work another seven years for Rachel. Jacob never loved Leah, but God graced her in a special way. Her son Judah was the father of the tribe from which came Jesus.
Rahab was a prostitute in the city of Jericho. She hid the Hebrew spies in exchange for the safety of her family. Her family was saved at the destruction of Jericho and she became the ancestress of King David and from the house of David came Jesus Christ.
Ruth was a pagan who had married a Hebrew. After her husband died she returned to Israel with her Jewish mother-inlaw,
Naomi. She accepted God as her God following Naomi. She married another Hebrew and we find her name listed in the Mathews genealogy of Jesus as an ancestor of King David.