Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. (Ruth 4:14)
Boaz is a Christ figure—an illustration pointing to Jesus and his mission in the world. There are many interesting parallels between the life of Christ and the book of Ruth. Jesus was born in Bethlehem; Ruth’s story took place in Bethlehem. Jesus extended grace to outsiders, beggars, and sinners; Boaz extended grace to Ruth—a destitute, Moabite, pagan widow. Jesus fed the multitudes and offered “living water” to a foreign (Samaritan) woman; Boaz shared his abundant harvest with the poor and offered an unlimited supply of water to Ruth, a foreigner.
However, the strongest comparison between Jesus and Boaz centers on the term guardian-redeemer. In ancient Jewish culture, a guardian-redeemer referred to a male family member responsible for redeeming (buying back) property that had left the family and providing for any dependent relatives associated with that property. When Boaz accepted the role of guardian-redeemer, he took on an enormous responsibility at considerable cost; for his firstborn son through Ruth would inherit and eventually manage the redeemed property, not Boaz himself. Even so, Boaz was committed to honoring his God, redeeming what had been lost, and restoring the dignity of others regardless of the personal cost.
Jesus is our guardian-redeemer. He loved us while we were still sinners, purchased our freedom with his own blood, and restored our dignity as children of the Most High God.
Acknowledge and accept Jesus as your guardian-redeemer.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister, pastor’s wife, and mother of four. She has a deep love for rural America and is passionate about its potential for spiritual growth.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.