At Christmas time, we’re used to reading the story of a birth. Just maybe not this birth.
"When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.” - Genesis 38:27-30
What a bizarre story found in this tucked away corner of the Scripture. One son waves hello, gets a scarlet thread tied around his wrist, and then disappears. The other son somehow intrudes into the process of birth and makes what the text refers to a “breach.” He pushes his brother back so he can break out into the world. And the mama? A woman named Tamar, whose story is not a family friendly tale. She went through a lot of family dysfunction, was sinned against, sinned herself, and ended up unmarried and pregnant by her late husband’s father. And then comes the birth, with this odd occurrence. Two sons. One named Perez, meaning “breach” or “broken out.” The other named Zerah, meaning “dawning” or “brightness.”
And these twins are a picture of you and your big brother. Your big brother named Jesus.