Ruth has come all the way from the land of Moab into the heart and home of Boaz. And we who were at one time strangers, far from God, and without hope in the world, have now been made nigh by the blood of Christ.
In Ruth chapter 4 we see the work of Boaz. He has had to stand aside with his arms folded, but now he is free to move because Ruth has claimed him as her kinsman-redeemer. And I say this reverently to you, my friend: Christ, like Boaz, is not free to move in your behalf until you claim Him as your Kinsman-Redeemer. Christ died on the cross for you, and even today He stands at the door of your heart and knocks, saying, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). But He won't crash the door. You will have to invite Him in. God offers the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, but you have to reach out your hand and take it by faith. By faith you receive Christ.
The kinsman-redeemer is one of the most marvelous pictures that we have of our Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed us. In other words, this story is a picture of our redemption. There were several requirements a man had to meet in order to qualify as a kinsman-redeemer. First of all, he must be a near kinsman. Second, he must be willing to redeem. Third, he must be able to redeem. Now Boaz was able to meet all of these conditions as the kinsman-redeemer of Ruth. And the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Kinsman-Redeemer, meets all these requirements also.
First of all, let's consider that the kinsman-redeemer must be a near kinsman. That is the reason that Boaz could act. Presented to us from beginning to end is the fact that Boaz was related to the family of Elimelech. And the Lord Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer. He is a near kinsman. He is the One who took upon Himself our humanity. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). You see, He came down and took upon Himself our humanity, and He became a man. He suffered down here; He bled and died for the sins of the world—which is in the plan and program of God.
Not only must a kinsman-redeemer be a near kinsman, but he must also be willing to redeem. You will recall that Naomi's other kinsman was not willing to redeem. He very frankly told Boaz, "I'll mar my own inheritance. I cannot redeem it. You redeem my right for yourself." But Boaz was willing—not only willing—he wanted to redeem it, because he loved Ruth. You and I today have a Kinsman who loves us. Why? It's not because of anything in us. Paul said in Romans 3:24: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." The writer to the Hebrews says, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). And so we find that the Lord Jesus, as our Kinsman-Redeemer, was willing to redeem us.
Third, a kinsman-redeemer must be able to redeem. I am sure that Naomi had some poor kinfolk there in Bethlehem. It might have been that one night after Naomi had come back from Moab that these poor kinfolk came over, got out their handkerchiefs and wept. They said, "Naomi, we feel sorry for you, but we can't help you." It's nice to have folks sympathize with you, but it's wonderful to have a kinsman who is able to write a check that doesn't bounce, and to have that kinsman come along and say, "I'll redeem you." Well, you and I have a Kinsman-Redeemer. He is able. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). He is our great Kinsman-Redeemer with the ability to save. That, of course, was true of Boaz. He was called a mighty man of wealth. There was never any question about his ability. And, friend, there's never a question about whether the Lord Jesus can redeem. He is able to save. God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name, and some day every tongue must confess and every knee must bow to Him (Philippians 2:9-11). He is able to save. And may I say, He is able to save you. The question is: Has He saved you? He wants to, and He will if you'll trust Him as Saviour.
—Condensed from Ruth by J. Vernon McGee. Published by Thomas Nelson, used by permission.