By Anna Fuller

The Gentile blood Jesus possesses, culminating in Mary, first shows that God’s mission has always been inclusion and restoration of the nations. Women are also involved in this important process. While Mary is, of course, a Jew — not a Gentile — her involvement in the Incarnation allows for God to redeem all the nations, and this is shown in the way Jesus interacts with Gentile women.

In her engaging argument compiled in “Women and the Gender of God,” Amy Peeler discusses how the virgin birth creates space for the redemption of men and women. Her central question is how a male Savior can fully redeem women and all aspects of humanity. Her conclusion is that because Jesus takes His flesh from a woman yet is incarnated as a man, He fully reconciles and redeems both men and women.

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“His very genetic makeup redeems the nations.”

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Gentiles in the Genealogy

It is crucial then that the Gospel of Matthew traces the genealogy through Mary and not through Joseph. In his gospel, Matthew is clear that Jesus has “Gentile blood in his veins,” according to Christopher J.H. Wright in “The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative.”

The Gentile ancestry comes through Mary, and, thus, Jesus is not a full-blooded, “pure” Israelite. His very genetic makeup redeems the nations.

Breaking Cultural Barriers

The graciousness and divine love of God is shown in the Incarnation event, but before the birth of Christ, YHWH breaks cultural barriers in asking a lowly servant girl to be the physical vessel into which He enters His own creation. He is “gracious to descend, to preserve, and to honor Mary, and in doing so to elevate her by keeping the ancient promises to Israel and the nations through her.” Additionally, in this new kingdom to come, “to be raised low is to be raised high” (Peeler).

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“Women have a place in God’s mission of restoration.”

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A Place in God’s Mission

A woman’s direct participation in the Incarnation shows that God especially sees women, and, therefore, women have a place in God’s mission of restoration. Furthermore, a glimpse of this kingdom has been shown through Tamar and Rahab. Those who have been outsiders historically are now fully accepted, and Jesus will magnify this throughout His ministry.

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Anna Fuller is a Spring Arbor University senior majoring in biblical and theological studies. Upon graduating, she has committed to serving a year on the mission field. She is from South Bend, Indiana.

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