Ruth’s Place in Jesus’ Genealogy: Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Lineage

Ruth Bible Study 28

In the grand tapestry of God’s plan for salvation, we often find unexpected threads that beautifully connect the past, present, and future.

One such thread is the story of Ruth, a young Moabite woman whose faithfulness and devotion positioned her in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Despite her humble beginnings and societal limitations, Ruth’s story teaches us powerful lessons about the value of ordinary women in God’s extraordinary plans.

The Inclusion of Unexpected Women

In Ruth 4:17-22, we see Ruth’s name recorded in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Wait, let that sink in for a moment. Ruth, a young woman from a foreign land, found herself included in the lineage of our Savior. What a powerful reminder that God’s plan knows no bounds and that He chooses to work through unexpected individuals to accomplish His purposes.

Ruth was a Moabite, and the Moabites were often seen as outsiders, not fully accepted or embraced by the Israelites. Yet, despite her background, Ruth’s faithfulness and devotion to God and her mother-in-law Naomi set her apart.

Ruth’s inclusion in Jesus’ genealogy is not an isolated incident. Throughout the Bible, we see a pattern of God using ordinary women to fulfil His extraordinary plan. Consider the story of Tamar, a woman who demonstrated incredible bravery and took bold steps to ensure the fulfilment of God’s promise (Genesis 38). Or Rahab, a prostitute who displayed unwavering faith and became a key figure in the Israelite conquest of Jericho (Joshua 2). These women, among many others, were unexpected heroes who played significant roles in God’s redemptive narrative.

The inclusion of these unexpected women teaches us several vital lessons:

First, it reminds us that God does not look at external appearances or societal labels. He sees the heart and chooses individuals based on their faith and devotion. It’s a beautiful reminder that our worth and significance come from God alone, not from the world’s standards or expectations.

Second, the inclusion of unexpected women emphasizes God’s faithfulness to fulfil His promises. Despite their backgrounds or circumstances, God used these women to bring about His plan of redemption. It’s a powerful reminder that no matter where we come from or what challenges we face, God can use us mightily for His purposes.

Third, the inclusion of unexpected women challenges us to reconsider our own biases and preconceived notions. How often do we overlook or underestimate the potential of those around us? God’s example teaches us to see the value and potential in everyone, recognizing that He can work through anyone, regardless of their background or perceived limitations.

So, my dear sisters, let us celebrate the inclusion of unexpected women in God’s plan. Let’s embrace our own unique stories and gifts, knowing that God has a purpose for each one of us. As we journey through life, let’s be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and be willing to step out in faith, just as Ruth did. Our lives have the potential to impact future generations, just like these incredible women of faith. Together, let’s strive to be women who are unafraid to trust in God’s leading and who embrace the unexpected paths He sets before us.

The Godly Characteristics of Women in Jesus’ Genealogy

Let’s uncover the underlying godly characteristics that positioned these women to be part of Jesus’ royal lineage.

Tamar: Courageous Persistence and Tenacity

When we encounter Tamar’s story in Genesis 38, we see her remarkable courage and persistence in pursuing justice. Tamar’s determination to preserve her rights and the legacy of her husband, even in the face of deceit and mistreatment, showcases her unwavering strength. Her story highlights the importance of courageously standing up for what is right and pursuing God’s justice.

Rahab: Faith-Filled Trust and Action

In Joshua 2, we meet Rahab, a Canaanite woman who defied societal norms and risked her life to protect the Israelite spies. Rahab’s faith in the God of Israel led her to take action, displaying extraordinary trust in His promises. Her story teaches us the significance of having faith that moves us to action and trusting in God’s faithfulness.

Ruth: Commitment, Loyalty, and Sacrificial Love

We’ve already explored Ruth’s incredible journey in depth, but it’s important to highlight the characteristics that made her an integral part of Jesus’ lineage. Ruth’s unwavering commitment to Naomi, her loyalty, and her sacrificial love for her mother-in-law exemplify the transformative power of selflessness and devotion. Her story reminds us of the importance of prioritizing relationships and showing love even in challenging circumstances.

Bathsheba: Humility and God’s Transformative Grace

When we read about Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 and 12, we witness a story of brokenness and redemption. Despite the painful circumstances surrounding her relationship with King David, Bathsheba demonstrated humility and allowed God’s transformative grace to work in her life. Her inclusion in Jesus’ genealogy serves as a powerful reminder that God’s grace can turn our brokenness into something beautiful.

Mary: Obedient Surrender and Trust in God’s Plan

No discussion of Jesus’ genealogy is complete without mentioning Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary’s willingness to surrender to God’s plan, despite the challenges and uncertainties she faced, exemplifies profound trust and obedience. Her story teaches us the importance of yielding to God’s will and embracing His plan, even when it may not align with our own expectations.

The women in Jesus’ genealogy were not simply chosen by chance or circumstance. Their inclusion in the royal lineage was a result of their godly characteristics and their willingness to trust and obey God. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary all exemplify qualities that allowed them to play significant roles in God’s redemptive plan.

These godly characteristics include courageous persistence, faith-filled trust, commitment, loyalty, sacrificial love, humility, and obedient surrender. As modern women, we can draw inspiration from their stories and cultivate these qualities in our own lives.

Let us be women who persistently pursue justice, trust in God’s promises, prioritize relationships, embrace His grace, and obediently surrender to His plan. In doing so, we too can participate in the royal lineage of faith and make a lasting impact on those around us.

Lessons for Women Today

1. God’s Faithfulness Through Generations

As we examine the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17, we see a lineage that spans generations. It is awe-inspiring to witness how God faithfully fulfilled His promises from one generation to another. The inclusion of Ruth and the other women in Jesus’ genealogy reminds us that God’s redemptive plan is not limited by time or circumstances. He works through the generations, bringing hope and restoration.

2. The Unlikely Heroes in God’s Story

When we look at the lives of the women in Jesus’ genealogy, we notice that many of them were considered unlikely heroes. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and others faced difficult circumstances and societal challenges. Yet, God used their stories to bring about His redemptive plan. This reminds us that God’s redemptive work is not limited to the seemingly strong and mighty but encompasses the humble and overlooked as well.

3. A Tapestry of Brokenness and Redemption

Each woman in Jesus’ genealogy carries a unique story of brokenness and redemption. Their lives were marked by hardships, mistakes, and pain. Yet, God’s redemptive hand weaved a tapestry of grace, transforming their brokenness into something beautiful. Their stories remind us that our brokenness does not disqualify us from God’s redemptive plan. He specializes in taking our broken pieces and crafting a masterpiece of His love and mercy.

4. The Unfolding Plan of Salvation

In Ruth 4:17-22, we witness the birth of Obed, the grandfather of King David. This pivotal moment in history marked the continuation of God’s plan of salvation, leading ultimately to the birth of Jesus Christ. It is awe-inspiring to see how God orchestrated the events, weaving the lives of ordinary men and women into His grand narrative. This reminds us that our lives are part of a much bigger story, and each one of us has a role to play in God’s redemptive plan.


Ruth’s story serves as a powerful reminder that God sees the potential in each of us, regardless of our background or circumstances. As women today, we can draw strength and inspiration from the lives of these extraordinary women in Jesus’ genealogy. We are called to embrace our identity, walk in faith and obedience, and trust that God’s redemptive plan is at work in and through us.

Let us be encouraged to live purposefully, impacting future generations and leaving a legacy that testifies to God’s grace and faithfulness.

Action Points

  1. Reflect on your own story and the ways God has used ordinary moments and circumstances for His extraordinary purposes.
  2. Embrace your identity and purpose in Christ, knowing that you have a unique role to play in God’s redemptive plan.
  3. Seek opportunities to impact future generations by living out your faith and sharing the love and hope of Christ with others.
  4. Study the lives of other women in the Bible who played significant roles in God’s redemptive plan and draw inspiration from their stories.

Remember, just as Ruth’s faithfulness led to her inclusion in Jesus’ genealogy, our lives can also have a profound impact when we trust in God’s sovereignty and walk in obedience to His calling.

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