Ancestry

During our recent trip to Israel we spent some time with one of the Samaritan priests on Mt. Gerazim perched above Jacob’s well and ancient Shechem. Although viewed as ethnic “half-breeds” (because of population mixing during the Assyrian empire), the Samaritans are proud of their lineage. The family tree of this priest traces his line back to Aaron and beyond to Levi…and Adam! They believe that they are the faithful followers of the Torah (pictured here), their only Bible. We couldn’t help but think of the importance of blood lines in the Bible. You can safely say that “the story line follows the blood line.” But purity of blood lines is always in question. The Samaritans’ lineage is certainly doubtful. Beyond them, the question of Abraham’s offspring is also a controversial topic. Muslims believe Ishmael and his descendants were the heirs of promise. Jews and Christians believe the chosen line follows Isaac. However, the debate between Jesus and his accusers in John 8 reframes the whole question. The true descendants of Abraham are those who those who recognize Christ. We are his spiritual lineage (Gal. 3:7, 29) bearing the family resemblance of the faithful. Being a child of Abraham is about blood – the blood of Christ. Our sense of identity is somehow more literal and more spiritual than this Samaritan priest could comprehend.

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