A high school athlete showed great promise in his abilities and mental focus. He gained the admiration of his teammates not by his talent, but by his attitude and they celebrated his successes.
His coach recognized his potential, but challenged him to go farther, and the athlete was receptive and grew under his guidance. Things looked very bright for his future.
A single incident changed everything, and he was suddenly unable to play. He had an operation and awaited results from the surgery to show he hadn’t lost everything he had worked so diligently for. His doctor was tentative, but agreed to let him play under specific restrictions that included physical therapy and playing with a brace.
The coach was happy to have his star player back, but opted to use the young man for only a few pivotal minutes per game. Once the momentum was going, he pulled the player back out and instructed him to rest and watch. The athlete became anxious waiting on the sidelines. Several games went by and the final two games of the season loomed ahead with uncertainty for the team’s placement in the region.
The young man’s father asked the coach to consider allowing his son more play time. The coach was hesitant, so the father worked with the physical therapist to speak with him. The therapist seemed comfortable with a ten minute play time per quarter and the coach agreed to let him play longer. The athlete was very excited to be allowed to compete longer, and was disappointed when his coach missed the next game because of a family emergency.
The assistant coach allowed him to play, but only as the coach had done in the previous games. The athlete protested, but the assistant was unmoved until a pivotal quarter put their score well behind the other team. The assistant signaled the athlete into the game and allowed him to play the entire final quarter, in which they eked out a win in the final seconds.
(This story is continued in Part II…) Moral of the story: In Matthew 1:1-6 we see the rise of the nation of Israel out of nothing but an insignificant man who did nothing really, he just believed God. David and Solomon were at the pinnacle of Israel’s greatness, and the promise of Israel’s continued reign looked bright. Just like the athlete in the story, their intentions and dedication were mostly admirable. In Matthew 1:7-11 we see circumstances change and lead to a decline in the greatness of Israel. They still had moments of greatness, little glimpses of potential in certain people is listed; but nothing like the former glory. Genealogy and the recording of people involved in that line remind us of the stories, and the disappointments human beings often are. We may honor the moments of triumph, but the certainty of the future was still very dim. As I look back on my own life the moments of triumph seem so minor in the big scope of things! We all seem to desire greatness or significance, to worship something worthwhile. Jesus came to answer that human need and for me at least I recognize I don’t need significance as much as I need to know that someone I honor is worthy of it. Jesus doesn’t disappoint, the more I know of him, the more I am pleased to associate myself with His name.