The book of Ruth’s big, beautiful, theological message can be summed up like this, so I read,
God cares for needy people like Naomi and Ruth; he is their ally in this chaotic world. He richly rewards people like Ruth and Boaz who demonstrate sacrificial love and in so doing become his instruments in helping the needy. God’s rewards for those who sacrificially love others sometimes exceed their wildest imagination and transcend their lifetime.
We’ve talked each and every week about Jesus in the book of Ruth. He said, didn’t He, that all Scriptures bear witness to Him, and all Scriptures testify of Him. Throughout Ruth, He has been pictured, previewed, and foreshadowed mainly by Boaz and this role of the kinsman-redeemer. Think about just how many ways this little book points us to Jesus…
- The kinsman-redeemer had to be a family member. Boaz was a relative of the family and people in need (4.3).
Jesus added humanity to His eternal deity so that He could be our human kinsman and save us (Philippians 2.7ff.).
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, was not motivated by self-interest, but motivated by love for Ruth.
Jesus’ motivation for redeeming us is His great love for us (1 John 4.10).
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, had to have a plan to redeem Ruth unto himself – and some might have thought the plan to be foolish.
Jesus’ plan for redeeming us is looked at as being a failure and being foolish (1 Corinthians 1.18).
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, took her as his bride.
We, the people Jesus has redeemed, are collectively called His bride (Ephesians 5.31-32, Revelation 21.9).
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, provided a glorious destiny for Ruth. The bitter life of a childless widow left behind, the glorious life of the redeemed lay ahead.
Jesus, as our redeemer, provides a glorious destiny for us (1 Thessalonians 5.9-11).
It all comes back to the idea of Jesus as our kinsman-redeemer;
this is why He became a man, to redeem you (Guzik).
God might have sent an angel to save us, or some kind of supernatural other-worldly being, but they would not have been our kinsman. Jesus, in His eternal glory, without the addition of humanity to His divine nature might have saved us, but He would not have been our kinsman.
On the other side of the coin, God could have raised up a great person, maybe a great prophet or a fantastic, kind, caring priest. They could be our kinsman because they are like us, but they could never be our redeemer because they would be sinful, like us.
So then, it has to be Jesus, only Jesus, the eternal God who added humanity to His eternal deity. It has to be Jesus because He is both our kinsman and our redeemer.
All of this to say, that for you, and for me, and for us, it simply had to be Jesus.
It just has to be Jesus.
So what do you do with this then? Yes, take a moment to consider how you are putting your love for others into action, like Ruth, like Naomi, like Boaz.
But more than that, today, right now, I would exhort you and charge you and command you with all the authority of the office and the role that I have to just sit quietly for a few minutes and consider this truth; that it simply has to be Jesus for your life.
He is your kinsman having taken on flesh, He is your redeemer because of his eternal deity, and He fused those together, for eternity, so that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. It simply has to be Jesus for you and your redemption.
If all of this is true, and it does simply have to be Jesus, then our aim today and every day simply has to be radical, life offering, self-sacrificing, obedience to Jesus.
So I will challenge you, command you, exhort you, to take some time today, actually do this, sit, think, contemplate, cogitate, on this wonderful truth that it simply has to be Jesus, and then like Ruth, like Naomi, like Boaz, how are you going to put this into action? What are you going to do?
I’d love to hear from you this week and for you to share with me what you are going to do when you truly realise and internalise this truth it simply has to be Jesus for your redemption.