A Coin in the Dust

July 6, 2021 | Jaci Miller

As a kid, I loved those “find the pennies in the sawdust” festival games. The delight of finding free money (even if it was only a cent) drove me into the dust to hunt for a few hidden treasures. How fun to unearth those copper coins.

That hunt reminds me a bit of the Bible. Hard names. Long lists. The genealogies of the Bible that can really challenge your Bible time. There’s nothing like an “Amminadab the father of Nahshon” to glaze the eyes. If I’m honest, I admit I’ve even skipped some of the lengthier ones from time to time.

Yes, the genealogies serve an archaeological purpose, pointing historians toward the accuracy of the Scriptures. But sometimes, I wondered, wasn’t there something in there for average-reader me? A coin in the dust?

As it turns out, sometimes there is!

As I was reading the book of Matthew, I discovered some unusual characters woven into the heritage of Jesus. Specifically, Rahab and Ruth. Two women. Two foreign women — the first from Jericho, the second from Moab.

God had told Israel to eschew all foreigners because they would lead Israel away from God. Yet, here in the genealogy of Jesus, two outsiders — two Gentiles — “taint” his perfect bloodline. In a time when pristine blood was prized, why would God sully that of His perfect son?

As I considered why, I realized God was revealing that Jesus not only came from both Jews and Gentiles, he came for them.


God was demonstrating that even as His son’s blood poured out, Jesus possessed a universal heritage. God expanded the language of redemption into the physical. Jesus’ very biological blood — a biracial blood — became a living example of His purpose. To die for all humanity. Not just Jews. Not only Gentiles. But everyone who would turn to Him and call Him Savior.

So, as I plod through those challenging portions of the Bible, I can look deeper and see if God is saying anything. Maybe among the Amminadabs and Nahshons lies a copper coin or two, just waiting to be unearthed.

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