Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar).
Perez was the father of Hezron.
Hezron was the father of Ram.
Ram was the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.
Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).
Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth).
Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). (Matthew 1:3–6 NLT)
It would have been so much easier for Jesus to build a following and start his ministry if he was born as someone else. It wasn’t just that neither his mother nor earthly father were people of power or well-known. There are numerous points along his lineage marked by very questionable people and situations. Tamar, pretending to be a prostitute, slept with her father-in-law, Judah, which resulted in the twins Perez and Zerah. Rabab was a Canaanite prostitute. David took Bathsheba as his own wife after having her husband killed to hide the fact David got her pregnant.
Jesus comes from a messed-up family. In many ways, it seems ill-fitting for the Son of God to enter this world with human ancestors such as these. Even those revered as patriarchs, such as Judah, or men of God, like David, did despicable things. If most of us were planning out Jesus’s lineage, we probably would have stocked it full of people wholly righteous, unwavering of faith, and virtuous to a fault.
Except nobody with those characteristics actually existed before Jesus. Only he is wholly righteous, faithful, and virtuous. This is exactly the reason why he came to Earth in the first place. Regardless of who Jesus’s human ancestors were, we can be certain they were deeply flawed and made many mistakes – both minor and egregious. It might as well be Tamar, who had been wronged by Judah when he pledged his youngest son to her in marriage once he came of age – in accordance with tradition after his firstborn made Tamar a widow and his second son took her as his bride but also died; Judah failed to live up to his end, so Tamar took matters into her own hands to ensure Judah’s lineage would not die.
Or Judah, who was a leader among the sons of Jacob and about whom Jacob prophesied, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor” (Genesis 49:10).
Or Rahab, who saved two Israelite spies and was therefore allowed to survive the battle of Jericho.
Or David, a poet and lover of the Law.
God did not choose the clean and easy way of establishing Jesus’s lineage because there wasn’t one. But he used the people who made themselves available to him. How can you make yourself available to God, allowing him, through his divine grace, to use you for his Kingdom despite your flaws and failures?