Label Makers

Matthew 1:1-5 - This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.

I. Rahab the …

A.  This is the second time he pauses to point out who someone’s mother was.

B. She has a title.

  • Rahab has a very unflattering title: Rahab the Harlot.

II. Her story appears in the book of Joshua, Chapter 2. 

A. Hebrews left Egypt and went to conquer the promises land. Joshua sends two spies to scout the land. They sneak into Jericho to check out the city before an invasion. 

  • She recognized them as Israelites and hid them. But They were seen.
  • The king was informed and he sends soldiers that went to the door. “Yes, they came here, but they left."
Joshua 2:8-15 - 8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 12 "Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death." 14 "Our lives for your lives!" the men assured her. "If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land." 15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 

C. Israel crosses the Jordan and comes marching toward Jericho. 

  • When they arrive, God gives Joshua unusual instructions: March around one time for six days and on the seventh, march seven times. For a week, they marched. On the seventh day, they marched seven times and shouted, and the walls fell.
Joshua 6:22, 25 - 22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her." … 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
  • Matthew knew that 1500 hundred years later the Hebrews of this time would struggle. Hey, that’s not holiness. 

C. Eventually, Rahab incorporated into the nation of Israel. 

  • Salmon and Rahab are married and they had a son named Boaz, who married Ruth, and their great-grandson was none other than King David.
  • No wonder Matthew throws her name in the list. Her story is perfect. Her story is the story Christmas. A story of great joy that will be to all people a savior is born who is Christ the Lord!.
  • A story of hope for people who have a label. I story of hope for those who have a past. 

III. Rahab’s story reflects the story of Matthew’s gospel.

A. Rahab, a woman condemned by Moses’ law, is shown grace because she believed and acted on that faith. Rahab, the foreigner, the outsider...

  • She had no platform of personal righteousness—but there she is.

B. God’s law condemned her—God’s grace spared her. Her lifestyle brought judgment—her faith brought forgiveness. 

  • Not only was God’s grace big enough to forgive her to place her in the family but to use her in his plan. To place her in the lineage of Jesus.
John 1:17 - for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  • Through Jesus, your story could reflect the story of Matthew’s gospel as well.
  • The message of Matthew, the message of Jesus, the point of Christmas is:
  1. I am the God who saves sinners while they are still sinners not after they have cleaned themselves up.
  2. I am the God whose holiness does not get in the way of my mercy whose righteousness does not negate my grace.


Rahab the Harlot.  Her reputation is a reminder and an invitation.  A reminder of who we are and what we need. An invitation to a relationship with the only one who can do anything about it. If you’ve been hesitant to lean into God because you assumed that your past and your label somehow makes you unredeemable here is the truth. Your past is not so much an obstacle as it is an opportunity to experience God’s forgiveness and grace. Quit using your label as an excuse and move in God’s direction.