And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. — Joshua 2:1b
Would you invite a prostitute over for dinner to your house? In this week’s reading in the Book of Joshua, we are introduced to Rahab. It is interesting to see that out of the seven times Rahab is mentioned in the bible, she is referred to as a prostitute four times. Some scholars state that Rahab may have been a tertiary-wife and not a harlot, thereby trying to minimize shock value of her profession. Rahab, for all in intents and purposes, was at the lowest end of the social hierarchy. She was triply marginalized — a Canaanite, a woman, and a prostitute. If there was anyone who does not deserve to be saved, it would be Rahab. Yet, we see that Rahab is remembered in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Mathew 1:5. In the New Testament, she is mentioned two other times in the following verses:
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. — Hebrews 11:31
And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? — James 2:25
Rahab’s story foreshadows the ministry of Jesus Christ, who demonstrated love, acceptance, and mercy to the marginalized. Every time we read about Rahab the prostitute, we are reminded of the redemptive power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Under the watchful eye of the Pharisees, Jesus did not hesitate to receive sinners and eat with them (Luke 15:1). He offered grace and mercy to all those who were marginalized not only by society, but also by the religious leaders. The Well Church, as we are continually reminded about the importance of repentance during this Lenten season, let us make sure that we are not playing any part in marginalizing those who are desperate to hear the gospel. Let us extend love to those who are desperate to hear the gospel. Invite them to your house and to our church. Demonstrate God’s love for them as he has to you. Let us pray that God will transform us and all around us.