December 13, 2023
Picture: Kinsmen Redeemer
Deuteronomy 25:5; Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 4:8-19; Hebrews 2:17; 1 Peter 1:18-20; John 10:17-18
The pressure was immense. She arrived in Bethlehem as a stranger, a widow, and an outsider who had inexplicably attached herself to an old woman with meager prospects that seemed to guarantee their reliance on the charity of others. She would be the one who had to provide. Luckily, she was no stranger to hard work. She began by walking the fields, picking up what had been dropped by the harvesters. Little did she know she had attracted the attention of Boaz the owner of the field and distant relative to her former husband. As she talked to her mother-in-law, it was explained to her that there was a Jewish custom where the closest relative would buy the property and rear a family in the name of the deceased relative in order to secure their legacy.
If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.
Deuteronomy 25:5 (NKJV)
If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold.
Leviticus 25:25 (NKJV)
But would Boaz redeem what seemed to be an unredeemable situation? There was one other close relative that had to be consulted. As Boaz approached him, the man was interested in buying the land in order to keep it in the family. When he found out he also had to marry Ruth, he had misgivings and decided he would not act as the Kinsmen redeemer. This was great news for Boaz who wanted to redeem the land for his relative and marry Ruth.
Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
Ruth 4:8-10 (NKJV)
A Kinsmen redeemer had to be a close relative, who had means to provide redemption, and had the desire to accomplish redemption.
Jesus has become our kinsmen redeemer. He became like us.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17 (NKJV)
Jesus had the means to provide redemption.
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)
Jesus was willing to provide redemption.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
John 10:17-18 (NKJV)
We, like Ruth, were without hope. We could not rely on our own labor or ability to chart a path to abundant life on earth or eternal life in heaven. At Christmas, we anticipate a child who would act as our close relative, redeeming our situation, and providing access to an incorruptible inheritance.