Jesus is our kinsman redeemer!
I just lost you, didn’t I? Unless you already know what a kinsman redeemer is, you have no idea what I’m talking about! Well, relax. I am about to explain it all to you.
You see, it starts out with Ruth in the Old Testament. Ruth was from Moab and didn’t have anybody but her mother-in-law, Naomi. She had lost her husband, and for that matter, so had Naomi. Naomi had been married to a man named Elimelech in her hometown of Bethlehem.
Then came a famine or something and her husband, Elimelech and their sons, Mahlon and Chilion, passed on. We don’t know exactly how old Mahlon and Chilion were but they were old enough to be married, anyway, and they had each taken wives from the Moabite people. So, all three men died and left a wife. Naomi decided to go home to Bethlehem, and she told her two daughters-in-law to go home to their parents. The Jewish law said that widows should stay with their in-laws, and their brother-in-law would marry them so they could raise children “to their husband.” Naomi told the women, I have no other boys for you to marry and I am too old to have a husband. Orpah was the name of the other lady, and she went home. But Ruth begged her mother-in-law to let her go with her and take care of her. Ruth told Naomi, “’Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.’” -Ruth 1:16 (NASB) So, Ruth stayed with Naomi.
Boaz the Farmer Becomes Part of Their Lives
Now, Boaz was a farmer in the region where they moved to and Ruth, being able-bodied, went to glean in his fields. Jewish law said that if you have land and are farming it, that when it comes harvest time, you leave the outside row on the ground so the poor may “glean” from it. So Ruth was gleaning from Boaz’s fields. Boaz took notice of her and asked about her. He was told she was the daughter-in-law that Naomi had brought home with her. He was impressed with her dedication to Naomi and that she was willing to take care of her and he told her not to glean from anybody else’s field. He also told his workers (men) to not harm her in any way while she was working.
Naomi Tells Ruth to Lay at Boaz’s Feet
Now, Naomi asked Ruth at some point where she had gleaned and she told her mother-in-law, from Boaz’s field. She gleaned there until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest. Then, Naomi told Ruth to spruce herself up and lay at Boaz’s feet after he had gone to bed for the night. She told her to cover herself with a corner of his blanket to ask Boaz to redeem her and all her possessions. Now, redeem basically means to buy. It actually is defined as “to gain or regain something in exchange for payment.” Ruth did as she was told. Boaz was startled during the night and found a woman laying at his feet. He asked who she was and was told she was Ruth and that he was a close relative of hers. Boaz thanked her for her kindness to him and said there was another closer. He would talk with him tomorrow and settle it.
Boaz Talks to the Elders and the Other Party
It was a tradition to talk to the elders about such a deal, so Boaz went down to the city gate, where he knew the elders would be, and waited for his relative. When the man came by, Boaz told him about the deal and was he interested? He said he was, until Boaz mentioned that Ruth was part of the deal. She would come with the land he was buying. He said then no, that he could not redeem her because it would mess up his inheritance, so Boaz should redeem her himself.
Ruth and Boaz get Married
So Boaz became Ruth and Naomi’s kinsman redeemer and took Ruth to be his wife, and she had a son whom she named Obed, who was the grandfather of King David.
Jesus as Kinsman Redeemer
Now, as a man once said, I told you all that to tell you this: Jesus came to redeem all people. Not just Ruth and Naomi, who were probably gone by the time Jesus got there, but all people, Jews and Gentiles alike. As Romans 8:16-17 (NASB) says,
“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
He was a gaal, which is Hebrew for kinsman. As Psalm32:22 (NASB) says
“The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”
He died on a cross to redeem, or padah us of all sins and unrighteousness. He was, and is, our kinsman redeemer.
What Was in it For Christ?
To be a kinsman redeemer, Boaz had to marry Ruth so he got something for his trouble. What was in it for Christ? He was redeemer of the World. He got to see billions grow up, some knew him, some didn’t, but all had a chance at being redeemed by Him. He got to buy peoples freedom!
Ruth’s story is a lot like ours. In her, we see a person who can’t help herself, just like us. She has to ask someone to step up and take care of her, just like us. She needs a redeemer. Jesus does that for us. He took our sins upon himself, so that we didn’t have to deal with the punishment ourselves. We all need this. It’s not just Ruth.