All Roads Lead To Jesus - Ruth

Readings – Ruth 1-2, John 4

Ruth was up against it. She had married into an Israelite family. Back then, the men took care of the household. Without a husband or a patriarch, a woman living in ancient Moab would be destitute. Her household had been struck by death. First her father-in-law died. And then, her husband and his brother both died. Ruth was left with her mother-in-law Naomi and her sister-in-law Orpah.

Naomi had been living in Moab after her husband had left Israel. She was one of God’s chosen people during the time the judges were ruling over Israel. But she hadn’t been back to Israel for some time. Now, her husband and sons had died. There was no longer a man in the household. She was in a foreign land with foreign daughters by marriage. She had nothing. She took pity on Orpah and Ruth and told them to go back their families. Maybe they could find love or at least a better situation. Orpah decided to return home but Ruth clung to Naomi.

Ruth and Naomi returned to Israel and settled in Bethlehem. But all was not well. Since Naomi’s husband had died in a patriarchal society, she was in danger of losing everything. Everything her husband owned, including his land and his family were to be bought by the next living male relative. Along the way, Ruth had met Boaz. A romance ensued and they quickly fell in love. Boaz made arrangements so that he could buy Naomi’s land and marry Ruth.

At first glance, it may seem like a strange story to include in the Scriptures. It might be hard for us to find Christ in this story if we’re not paying close attention. But he is there. The story of Ruth and Boaz is important for redemptive history and because the person of Jesus is foreshadowed. After Ruth and Boaz marry, they have a child. The child’s name is Obed. As it turns out, this kid Obed is someone important to redemptive history. Obed is the grandfather of a boy named David. This same David would become the greatest King Israel had ever known. King David’s family would be the line from which the greatest King the earth had ever known would come from.

Ruth and Boaz were the people God used to continue the line from which Jesus would be born into Bethlehem. Pretty cool, right? But there is more.

Boaz is a picture of Jesus for us. We are destitute and broken people just like Ruth and Naomi. On our own, we don’t have much to bring to the table. Perhaps you have felt like this at times in your life. Because of his love for Ruth, Boaz redeems the land which Naomi was about to lose. Through this redemption, Boaz is able to save Ruth and Naomi from a life of grief.

Jesus, like Boaz, is our kinsman Redeemer. Jesus has bought us at a price. The price was his broken body and shed blood. When we say Jesus has redeemed us, we mean that he paid the price of our sins so that we could by faith be the children of God.

Jesus, like Boaz is a kind redeemer. The story of Ruth demonstrates that Boaz was a man of good character who does what is right. Still, Jesus is the better Boaz. Jesus was always kind throughout His ministry. He did what was right in the eyes of His Father as he loved his Father’s people well.

Boaz kept the Law, but Jesus fulfilled the Law. Jesus obeyed his Father perfectly while also fulfilling the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel. He was above reproach in every way and without sin.

As a kinsman redeemer, Boaz provided for Ruth and Naomi. But Jesus is the better provider. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that if she were to drink from the water that Jesus was offering that she would never thirst again. Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is Living Water. He is the way, the truth and the life.

The story of Ruth and Boaz is a picture of God’s love story with us. God has not left us destitute in our sinful condition. He has provided a Redeemer who offered himself, bought us with a price and calls us into his family.

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