A Christmas Scandal

4 Episodes

Matthew began the Christmas story with a genealogy (yawn). But it’s not a typical genealogy. Matthew seems to go out of his way to draw attention to the bad apples that were part of the lineage of Jesus. Rather than focus on the greatest people and the best parts of their legacies, he identifies the foreigners, the women, and people of questionable character. Why would Matthew focus on the worst instead of the best? Shouldn’t he try to convince his readers that Jesus came from a great lineage? Nope. Doing that would undo the entire Christmas story. In this series, we’ll focus on the stories behind the scandalous ancestors of Jesus to highlight the even greater scandal of God’s grace.

A Christmas Scandal Episode 1
Original Airdate: Nov 26, 2023 


Luke begins his gospel with the famous story of Christmas. His story includes the angels, the shepherds, the wonder and awe of the well-known Christmas story. Matthew, by contrast, begins the Christmas story with…wait for it… a genealogy. What many of us pass over as dull and tedious was anything but dull when Matthew’s original audience read his story because they knew the backstories of all the people in Jesus’ family tree. In fact, Matthew seems to go out of his way to allude to the scandalous lives of the people who made up the family tree of Jesus. Matthew didn’t include them despite his gospel story. Matthew included them because they were the point of the gospel story.

A Christmas Scandal Episode 2
Original Airdate: Dec 3rd, 2023 


In life, what we see on the outside doesn't always match up with what's happening on the inside. We long for acceptance and achievement, but we look in all the wrong places to find them, leaving us disappointed and rejected. How do we find purpose in these frustrations? In this message, we’ll meet a girl who desperately craved attention and validation. But the more she tried to get it, the less of it she had. It wasn’t until she learned where to find it that she learned
that she was wanted. When we see the meaning of the Christmas story, you, too will find what your heart most deeply desires.

A Christmas Scandal Episode 3
Original Airdate: Dec 10th, 2023 


While everyone’s family has their share of issues, the family tree of Jesus is filled with some particularly shady characters. The first we come across is Judah. While Judah would eventually become a respected name in Jewish culture, his past contained a very dark secret. By contrast, his brother, Joseph, was a very good and vitreous man. Yet, despite Joseph’s “goodness,” God chose Judah—sin and all—to become the ancestor of Jesus. Why? In the story of Judah, we discover that God makes his grace available to people who have never even made themselves available to God. 

A Christmas Scandal Episode 4
Original Airdate: Dec 17th, 2023 

Ill Repute

Many of us have picked up nicknames in our past. Some are terms of endearment. Others are labels of mockery. People often aren’t even aware of the nicknames that others have given them behind their backs. Well, Jesus had someone in his family tree who had a notorious nickname. She was known as “Rahab, the prostitute.” Yet, Matthew doesn’t rush right past that fact. Rather, he makes sure that we know that there was an infamous prostitute in Jesus’ family tree. Matthew had his own nickname. And, again, it was any but a term of endearment. He was called “Matthew the tax collector.” In this message, we’ll discover that no matter what nickname you might have earned, Jesus calls people to follow him, even while they are still wearing their labels.