Ruth – Revealing Our Redeemer

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Ruth 4:14-15a:
-14: And the woman {Ruth} said unto Naomi {her mother-in-law}, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman {redeemer} that his name may be famous in Israel.
-15a: And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: . . .

Although the Book of Ruth contains only four chapters, a wealth of knowledge and understanding is inlaid throughout regarding redemption. The word “kinsman” means the next of kin who has the right of redemption. Ruth, a Gentile, had a husband who was from Israel, and when her husband died, Ruth was released (because of the laws and customs of that day) from any inheritance or possessions or any legal rights that her husband had in Israel.

She was told by Naomi to return back to her home and to her gods, but Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee {Naomi was returning back home to Bethlehem}, for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;” (Ruth 1:16). This is the statement that made Ruth a great woman, a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11), and Boaz said of her: “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust (Ruth 2:12).

What a wonderful statement for man of God to say to a Gentile, and Gentiles were at that time considered unclean and vile.

To the question “who can find a virtuous woman?”, Boaz found one in Ruth,* who learned to have great trust in God. She had the qualities of a virtuous woman which can be read in Proverbs 31:10-31.

Boaz first needed to redeem her former husband’s inheritance back, which he did, then he would be free to marry her; this would give her the redemption of the eternal inheritance that the hope of all Israel had in and for the Redeemer. The Redeemer would be famous in Israel and be the restorer of life ─ eternal life!

The son of Ruth and Boaz was in the direct bloodline of King David (Ruth 4:21-22), and David was in the direct line of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ. Without Ruth and her faith, trust, and confidence in God we would not have a Savior!

Ruth had such an important and intricate part in the coming of Christ that she not only got her name recorded in the royal (kingly) lineage of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5), she was the only woman besides Mary to be mentioned in the genealogies of Jesus Christ in the Gospels.

In Matthew 1:16 we read: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” There is a huge error in translation here, because the word “husband” in the Greek Text is the word father. Mary’s father was named Joseph; Mary’s husband was also named Joseph. Joseph, Mary’s husband’s father was named Heli (Luke 3:23), while Mary’s father was named Jacob. Joseph was not the father of Jesus Christ, God was! And in this (understanding of the genealogy of Mary, and knowing the story of Ruth), we can receive incredible insights about our Redeemer ─ Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:4-5a:
-4: But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
-5a: To redeem them that were under the law, . . .

Who was under the Law? Israel was, and through Mary being the mother of Jesus, Jesus was born to be the only redeemer of Israel, who redeemed them from the Law. As Boaz redeemed Ruth so she could receive her rightful inheritance, Jesus in the same way redeemed all of Israel to receive their promised inheritance that God promised to Abraham and the prophets who followed him. After Jesus fulfilled the Law and redeemed Israel, God’s ultimate plan of redemption went into effect for the redemption of all humanity.

Galatians 3:13-14a:
-13: Christ hath redeemed us {not just Israel but the entire world} from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
-14a: That the blessing of Abraham might come {also} on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; . . .

Anyone who was not under the Law, namely every human being that wasn’t in the fold of Israel was under the curse. But when Jesus fulfilled the Law and redeemed Israel, God’s divine plan of redemption for the entire world went into effect to give all people who will simply believe, their eternal inheritance to be in him who is the prophesied “restorer of thy life,” our Redeemer ─ Jesus Christ!

*(See our study, titled: A Virtuous Woman.)

Mark – Revealing Our Ideal Servant

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus Christ as the ideal servant who displayed and revealed the epitome of what it is to be a servant of God in his service to his fellow man.

Jesus Christ, God’s servant in the Gospel of Mark, was prophesied in Zechariah 3:8: “behold, I {God} will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” The “branch” is the offspring of God, and God calls Jesus Christ “my servant” because throughout his life he served God unconditionally while continually giving his life in service to his fellow man.

Jesus displayed what was considered in the first century to be the lowest earthly position that a man could have (a servant), yet by doing so, Jesus showed to humanity the limits of what he was willing to do to redeem men and women back to God.

In Mark there is no genealogy recorded because a servant has no social standing based on his ancestors, but is rather accredited only by the service he would do.

In Mark’s Gospel there is very little fanfare in the form of salutations, and there are no details regarding his birth. In the first chapter (verse 9) Jesus goes right to work in his ministry as he served man with an inner quality of heavenly dignity.

Mark 10:43-45:
– 43: But so shall it not be among you {lording over people}: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister {your servant}:
-44: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
-45: For even the Son of man {Jesus Christ} came not to be ministered unto {not to have people serve him}, but to minister {to serve as a servant}, and to give his life a ransom for many.

What caused this discourse that Jesus was having with his Apostles was that some of them wanted Jesus simply to grant them the highest positions as favors. When the other Apostles found out what they wanted Jesus to do for them, they all began arguing about who would be privileged in Jesus’ eyes to have the high positions.

Jesus began to teach them as only the servant of servants could teach, because he was their example as well as ours of what an ideal servant really is. He taught them that the more one would serve with the heart of service, then the greater or “the chiefest” he would become.

Then Jesus explains his own ministry (in verse 45), and how far Jesus would go in service, “to give his life a ransom for many.” The word “minister” literally means that the service one would render to another would be the kind of service that would bring benefits to both the recipient and the giver. Our English word deacon comes from the Greek word “minister,” which is used in the above verses.

In the Epistle of Ephesians, we see that no matter whether we work as a sanitary engineer or a NASA engineer, we could always look to the life of Jesus Christ and see the greatest example of a servant.

Ephesians 6:5-8:
-5: Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh {our bosses in the secular world}, with fear {respect and reverence} and trembling {having an eager concern to please}, in singleness of your heart, as {working, or serving} unto Christ;
-6: Not with eye-service, as menpleasers {making sure that someone sees you working}; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
-7: With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: {Because we are servants of God in the sense that we want to please Him, men will obviously benefit as well.}
-8: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord {because we reap what we sow, Galatians 6:9}, whether he be bond or free.

We are in Christ’s stead today and as we discover God’s prophesied servant, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 42:1) exemplified in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus can reveal to us the spiritual realities that the greatest freedom in all of this life comes to men and women proportionally to their service for God in love. “As free, and not using your liberty {of spiritual freedom} for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God” (I Peter 2:16).

The Bible teaches that we are the children of God, His sons and daughters; however, as His beloved children we can become servants to our fellow man. With God’s calling and blessings, we are indeed His children and He is our Father; this is our vertical relationship to Him, however, horizontally to one another our relationships can be in service.

On account of us being the children of God, we may expect His blessings as we serve Him through following the examples of Our Ideal Servant – Jesus Christ.

Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.