The Kinsman Redeemer

2021-10-24 – Year B – Proper 25 – The Ordinary Ways of God Stewardship Series, part 3
The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas
Ruth 3; Psalm 13; Hebrews 5:11—6:12; Mark 10:46-52

Risk and Faith

  • Story of John Rodgers being called to Trinity School for Ministry by Bp. Alfred Stanway.

The Kinsman Redeemer

  • Naomi’s Plan
    • Ruth 3:1 “Rest for you” a way of speaking of a wife under the care and protection of a loving husband. See v. 1:9.
    • v. 2 – “Is not Boaz our relative…?”
      • The Role of the Kinsman Redeemer – “go’el”
        • Free those who have sold themselves into slavery (Leviticus 25:47-55)
        • Avenge murdered relatives (Numbers 35:12, 19-27)
        • Receive restitution money on behalf of a deceased relative (Numbers 5:8)
        • Seek justice for relatives involved in lawsuits (Jeremiah 50:34)
        • Maintain Hereditary property (Leviticus 25:25-30)
        • Perpetuate the name of a deceased brother (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
    • vv. 3-4 Wash and perfume yourself and go.
  • The plan is a risky one and could easily have been misinterpreted!
    • In fact, many have interpreted Naomi’s plan as risqué and provocative, but it need not be seen as such. It would not be in line with the character of the woman we have come to see in Ruth, or of the “worthy man,” Boaz.
    • “The delicacy of the scheme is obvious, and the potential for disaster is extreme. From a human perspective Naomi seems to be taking a huge gamble that Boaz may not interpret this series of nonverbal gestures in accordance with the meaning she intends.”
    • We can see Naomi’s faith growing. The more you see God’s had at work in your past, the easier it becomes to trust him with your future.
      • Smith Wigglesworth, a fascinating and gruff pentecostal evangelist from the turn of the 20th cent. “Great faith is a product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”
  • Working the Plan
    • Ruth 3:9 “Spread your wings over your servant…” Hebrew idiom for marriage.
      • Ruth 2:12 “Under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
    • The Plan works! vv. 10-11. Ruth is a “worthy woman” to match the “worthy man” Boaz.
    • Another redeemer vv. 12-13.

The Redemption of God

  • Ruth was in a weak position. Woman vs. Man. Younger vs. Older. Poor vs. Rich. Foreigner vs. Son of Israel.
  • Threshing Floor – a Biblical motif of separation and judgement. Luke 3:16–17
  • Ezekiel 16:8–10 – The Redemption of God
    • Notice “spread the corner of my garment over you” in v. 8.
    • This is the same word used in the book of Ruth for spreading wings.
    • This is a picture of all of us before God. Naked, bloody, helpless, unable to save ourselves. But, like Ruth, we have a Redeemer.

“It is almost too beautiful for words, but Boaz’s redemption of Ruth is a foreshadowing of what Christ does for all God’s people who are, by faith, ‘grafted’ into the Covenant. Jesus speaks about his intention to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45). He enters our public arena to make his pledge. He offers himself on the Cross as full payment for our sins in a public display of sacrifice. After that, the Church he has paid so dear a price to redeem will be called the ‘bride of Christ.’”

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