Naomi advised her daughter-in-law, Ruth, that Boaz would be a suitable husband. He was from the same clan as Naomi’s deceased husband. Ruth was told to find out where he lay down to go to sleep – at the far end of his grain pile – uncover his feet and lie down there (v.4).
Ruth carried out these instructions and Boaz was delighted to find this young woman at his feet. She had showed her kindness to him by not chasing after young men. Boaz was very keen in the morning to sort everything out legally. He was a model of integrity and was obliged to ask another man, who was a closer relative to Naomi than him (a kinsman-redeemer), if he wanted to exercise his inherited rights and marry her instead.
Boaz formally asked the kinsmen-redeemer if he would buy Naomi’s land from her but reminded him that if he did he would also have to marry the elderly Naomi. The man refused and so Boaz was able to buy the land and acquire Ruth, the Moabitess, as his wife.
The elders blessed Boaz and prayed that the Lord would ‘make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel’ (v.11).
Boaz and Ruth had a son, Obed (meaning ‘Servant of God’), and Naomi cared for him. Even though Ruth had been a foreigner before marrying Boaz she now entered into the most important genealogy in the history of the world. Her son was the father of Jesse, who would be the father of King David.
Jesus’ father, Joseph, came from the line of David. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem in accordance with prophecy. It is wonderful that Ruth and Boaz, both shining lights of kindness, loyalty and integrity are ancestors of Saint Joseph, the kinsman / redeemer of Mary and Jesus; the Holy Family.
The blind man, who Jesus had healed, believed in Jesus and worshipped him.
Jesus came into the world ‘so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind’ (v.39). The self-righteous religious Pharisees would not acknowledge that they were spiritually blind. Even when the Son of God carried out healing miracles in their own town, they refused to believe and thus their guilt remained.
Jesus came that we ‘may have life, and have it to the full’ (v.10).
Jesus came to defend us from the thieving wolf – the devil. He did not run away from the devil, he engaged in spiritual combat using the word of God as a double-edged sword. We can only enter into the kingdom of God through our faith in Jesus.
Jesus is the ‘Good Shepherd’ and laid down his life for us. He knows us and we know him and the sound of his voice. Jesus wanted the Church to be one – not split into different factions – so ‘there shall be one flock and one shepherd’ (v.16). Jesus came to us Gentiles – sheep from a different sheep pen – to round us up and lead us to evergreen pasture.
No-one took Jesus’ life from him. He could have called for a legion of mighty angels to prevent him from being captured. Jesus volunteered to die as he knew that was his Father’s plan for him. Jesus knew at this stage that he also had been given authority from God to be resurrected.
Good people produce good fruit. Jesus proved by his wonderful healing miracles that he came from God.
We will never be at rest until our soul finds rest in God. He will be our mighty rock, our fortress and our salvation (v.2) forever. We will never be shaken when we have full faith in God. Our hope comes from him (v.5).
God will prosper us and give us what we need but we need to love him alone and not become obsessed with his financial blessings and our bank accounts.
Our bodies will crumble to dust, all we have is our eternal spirit. We are all just a breath of God, so insubstantial it cannot be weighed on a scale but it is the very essence of our immortal soul.
Our God is strong and loving. We will be rewarded for what we have done.