A Rare Kind of Love and Loyalty

Finding Love, Hope, And Purpose Through Our Kinsman Redeemer Jesus Christ

Ross Sawyers
Dec 10, 2023    45m
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Have you ever felt hopeless, desperate, and without purpose? Do you wonder if your past disqualifies you from God's love and redemption? Listen to this sermon to learn how Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer, sacrificed Himself to purchase our salvation and give us an eternal hope and divine purpose. Discover how Ruth's devotion and loyalty in the Bible illustrates Christ's love for us. Be encouraged that no matter your background or family line, you can become part of God's family by faith in Jesus Christ, our loving Redeemer. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:00] It's been a fantastic morning in worship. Grateful for Dane. Somebody a few months ago texted me and said, hey, I want to introduce you to this guy. And we had some time together and I just love his humility, gentleness, and love for the Lord, and just the power in which he led us to worship today. So what a gift in this moment.

Ross Sawyers: [00:00:20] We're thinking about some things in this Christmas season, and we launched this series a week ago. And before we move into the scripture today, I want to give a link, to what we'll talk about, and I want us to think about it in terms of what's happening in Israel today. On Thursday, I had the opportunity to be a part of a lunch, with a ministry that's really about five minutes in its location from here, called One For Israel. It was an excellent time to get caught up on the kinds of things that are going on right now in Israel. And then just to hear, some of the history things have happened and in ways to think about it today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:07] And from a historical perspective, as a Christian, in 1948 when Israel became a state, there were 23 known followers of Christ in the nation. In the 1990s, there were 30 churches that were Messianic Jewish churches, and there were 50 churches that were Christians that were Arabs. And now, they estimate in Israel there are 40,000 followers of Jesus, 7000 are Jews, and 33,000 are Arabs, that are followers of Jesus. And both the Jews and the Arabs, as Christians, are uniting together in the way that they are worshiping and then leading other people towards Christ. And so what would we say about what's going on today in Israel, and then how do we link that to what we're thinking of scripturally today?

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:16] This is what, as a Christian, would be a larger perspective, and that is that every person has been created in the image of God. And because every person is created in the image of God, we treat people with value, respect, and dignity. And our greatest hope, because the image of God within us has been broken and marred by sin, our greatest hope and prayer is that the hearts of people in Israel and Gaza, all across the Middle East, all across the world, that the hearts of men and women would be restored and turned to Jesus Christ. That is our greatest hope and our greatest prayer. We know that the Apostle Paul was one of the great persecutors of the church, and yet one of the most instrumental men in Christianity. So we know it's possible for God to reach down and save the most evil of people, and in our eyes, who we might consider the best of people. So we pray for the salvation of people in that region of the world. We pray for comfort for the grieving. There is not a person untouched by death, or by the conflict, that's currently taking place. So we pray that God will meet people with a comfort in their grief. And then we pray for Christians to be a bright and burning light in the midst of all that's happening. There are multiple opportunities for humanitarian aid and ways to serve people, and we pray for boldness and an unwavering spirit for those who are Christians.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:02] During the pandemic, I would read often, and I think it was the right way to think about it, that Christians in the past have not run from plagues, they've run into the plague to serve and to love and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And we're grateful for Christians that are doing exactly that in the midst of conflict and war and running into it to serve and to be a help. One of the ministries, if you're wondering how you can be a help, One For Israel is one among many that you could be a part of in the things that are going on.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:34] We also know that in Romans chapter 13 of our Bibles, that what God says about government is that its purpose is to restrain evil, and Hamas is evil, and it is the rightful purpose of the government to restrain that evil. And I don't have the smarts to know how to do that, but I do know how to pray that God will work in those ways to restrain the evil that is currently in that part of the world, and really the rest of the world. We pray for our government leaders, that God would give them wisdom to exercise his justice in the midst of injustices. God is a God of justice, and justice will be exercised on that which is hostile to him and hostile to other people, and that justice will either come now, or it will come later, but justice will come. And so we pray wisdom for those, who are in the leadership. In Daniel chapter 2, God says that he places leaders, and he removes leaders. So in this time, God has placed leaders all across the world, and we pray that he'll channel the hearts of kings and the hearts of leaders to do that which he desires because his plans will be accomplished, and we pray that in all things that there will be glory to God, and we pray against, and we are totally against anything that is anti-Semitic. There's no place for that, there's no place for that in our country, and there's no place for it in any country in the world. So we would stand against anything that is anti-Semitic, anything that has that kind of hatred or racial ties to it. It is ultimately, by the way, is the guy reminded us on Thursday, that is a sin against God. People hate God, and that's why they end up hating people. That's the root of what happens when there's a hatred towards a people, it is a hatred of God first. So we pray against that, and then we stand against that. And then as everybody, we pray for peace. But there was a sermon I listened to a few weeks ago from Indiana, the pastor said, this is a 4000-year-old conflict. This is not an October 7th on conflict, although that's a historic moment in what happened in the depravity of it, but it is not the beginnings of it. The beginnings of it are back in Scripture 4000 years ago, and only God can bring about peace, and we pray for that peace primarily in the hearts of people, and then in ways that would be beyond any we could imagine that he'll step in. God is our help, and we lean into him for that help. If you would turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 1, I hope that's helpful for you. I hope that's a way that you'll pray and join us in ways that God might encourage you to get in and be a part.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:20] If you'll go to Matthew chapter 1, this will be our anchor place for our series during Christmas. Jordan Hill launched us off a week ago, he had an incredibly difficult topic to handle on week one, I thought he did a fantastic job. If you weren't here, I'd encourage you to listen to it, but it's hard to listen to, but it is laced with hope. What we find here is in the genealogy of Jesus, people that give us hope for what it is that God can do. And if you were here last week, you listened to the message and you didn't walk away with hope. I would encourage you to go back and at least listen to the last few minutes, because Jordan took us to a place of hope, in the scripture, through this genealogy.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:15] And when I think about what I just shared with you about Israel and the Jewish people, which there are 7.5 million Jewish people in Israel, 1.5 million Arabs, and 9 million people total in Israel. When Matthew was writing this letter, it's important that we understand who the writer is and why he's writing what he's writing. Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience. So sometimes when we're reading, we wonder, why would this genealogy be here? We wouldn't launch a good story with a genealogy. We would think we'll lull them because this goes against everything you've been told, that when you tell a story, you should start with a really great introduction, hook the people into the introduction, and now they're ready for the story. In Matthew, he starts his story about Jesus by going into 16 verses of a genealogy, that's not typically a hook. But Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience and to someone with a Jewish background, a Jew would read this, and this would be startling what they read. Matthew knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote this, and it would draw a Jewish person in because they would understand, and they would be shocked by the kinds of things they were reading in the genealogy.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:41] Now we're in the season of advent, that's how we talk about the Christmas season. And generally, if you're in churches, depending on your background, you do advent and you'll do love, joy, hope, and peace as themes for four Sundays, then Jesus is the light on Christmas Eve. And there's nothing in the Bible that says you have to do Advent that way, that's a that's a great way to do it. We're not doing that this time around; we're focusing on hope. We're going to focus on that one aspect of the Christmas story, that is hope. and so while that's an advent theme, if you're accustomed to all four, know that we're just homing in on this one in this particular round.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:28] Now, I don't know about you and your family history. I don't know if you've done genealogy in your family, if you've done Ancestry.com, or if you've done the DNA testing. Jordan talked about this some a week ago, so some of you may have, some may not. But I asked my mom and dad one time because we didn't have all these things where you can figure it out today. And so years ago, I asked my mom and dad and I said, what are we? And my mom, we come from on her side, there's some Polish, so that's what I remember. So I know at least I've got Polish in me. My dad, I asked him, and he said, we're Texan. So I know that I am some kind of Polish Texan, that is what I know.

Ross Sawyers: [00:11:16] Thursday at the lunch I was at, I sat next to a man I didn't know, and we started talking, and he was telling me his story and he said, 11 years ago I went to Israel for the first time. And he said, when I got off the plane, he said, I felt like I was at home. And he said, while I was there, God was very clear to me that when I came back home, I was to start a Messianic Jewish church in Carrollton, Texas. And he said, God, I'm not Jewish. How is this going to work? But he did it, he partnered in with the guy, they started the church, and it's been happening for almost 11 years. About five years ago, his wife started messing around with the whole genealogy thing, and he told me, he said, I've got a big nose, this is him telling me, he said I've got a big nose and high cheekbones. And he said, I was told by my parents early on or somebody that I was Cherokee. But he said, my wife, when she started doing this, she realized I was Jewish. And he said, and it made sense to me why God would have me doing this. I said, well, what has that done for you? How do you think differently now that you know that? He goes, I probably don't think about it a whole lot. You know, it helps me connect, he said because my primary identity is who I am in Jesus. And whether Jew or Gentile today, and if you're like me and you read your Bible for years, or you hear people talk about Gentiles, you're thinking, what's a Gentile? A Gentile is simply it's two categories of people, it's Jewish and non-Jewish. So if you're Jewish, you're a Jew. If you're non-Jewish, you're a Gentile. So when we read Scripture, we read it that way. And for him, and now he has this Jewish lineage, and this lineage matters more than we probably think about it today. We're more individualistic, we're less communal, we don't think in terms of looking at our past line and the impact of that. But in this day and in this culture, it was communal, it was collectivistic, everything depended on what your family line was. Your inheritance depended on that. Your social standing and social life depended on that. Your religious life depended on that. Everything depended on it. And so it was important to understand, this helped anchor you in as being somebody who is inside of your family line.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:47] So let's take a look at the genealogy before we anchor into one of the ladies in the genealogy. Matthew chapter 1, verse 1, "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Now a Jew would read this and be blown away. Because it says the record, that word record could be book, and it's the book of genealogy, that word genealogy is the word, Genesis. And what Matthew is saying is there is something new that's coming, and I'm going to anchor it back into the family line, into the history of the family line, but there's something new. The first book of our Bible is called Genesis, it's in the beginning that God created the heavens and the earth, but he's saying now there is something new again that you're about to see. So he launches into it that way, and he centers it on Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Savior, the Anointed One, the Christ. He's the center of what he's about to describe. And then he says that he's the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:57] And you might read that, I might read that, and we just keep moving. But the man who runs One For Israel, the ministry I was speaking of earlier. He grew up in Israel, a Jewish man, who had never heard the name of Jesus, h never even heard the name until somewhere in his later teen years. And then later he read Matthew 1:1, and he couldn't believe it because David and Abraham were his faith, not the Christian faith. What are their names doing in this part of the scriptures? That created an intrigue and an interest for him because Jesus, what Matthew's doing, is he is anchoring Jesus into the line of Israel. And he's making sure that his Jewish audience understands that Jesus comes through the line of Abraham, who is the father of their faith, and David, who is the king that was promised that forever the kingdom would be established through him. And now in that line, Jesus will emerge, and Jesus Christ himself will be that forever King. This would have been stunning to them. This genealogy is broken into three historical eras, 14 names per era, therefore, it's not comprehensive. So it's not every name in the genealogy, it's 14. So Matthew chooses a select number, and of these, he chooses four women, which would have been unheard of in the genealogies, they would have been male-focused. Why would Matthew choose four women when he had the opportunity to choose so many different people? And I think he did that to give us a glimpse of who could be a part of the line of Jesus, that both men and women will be a part of that line, that both Jews and Gentiles could be a part of that line, that despite what your past is, whether it's off the rails bad or the way we look at things good, welcome into the line. So we get a glimpse into who can be a part of Jesus's family.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:45] I was listening to an Old and New Testament theology prof, and he made a really interesting tie between these four ladies. And if you ask the question, what does this have to do with the birth of Jesus? At the end of the genealogy, he says this is through the line of Joseph, but then Jesus was born by Mary, born of Mary. All four women in this genealogy up to Jesus have some kind of odd sexual something that goes on. And nobody was buying that Mary had conceived a virgin. They would have thought she and Joseph were messing around before marriage. So there's a link of these women, and yet every woman, this guy said that was a great tie, every woman in this genealogy emerges honorable. That's what God does, isn't it?

Ross Sawyers: [00:18:49] Well, let's take a look in verse 5, "Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse." Last week we talked about Tamar. We talked about Rahab, who was a harlot, during our study of Joshua that we just completed. And today, I want us to focus on Ruth. This story is probably the opposite, almost totally opposite of the story of Tamar that we talked about a week ago.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:22] So let's take a look at it. It unfolds in some particular ways, and I want to start by saying that there's a dilemma. In Ruth chapter 1, if you have your Bibles, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, it's kind of at the front end of it, it will look like this if you open them. If you're on your phone and looking at your Bible, and not looking at anything else but just your Bible, then you just put the name in and you got it. So Ruth chapter 1, verse 1, we're going to look at the dilemma before we move into the story. Why is this story in here? And then what does it matter to us today? How does this give us hope as we look at the past in our current day? "Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons."

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:18] So to set the story, Bethlehem, which is the birthplace of Christ, is where this particular family is. There's a famine, and they hear that there's food across the river, across the sea in Moab. And so Elimelech the husband, Naomi the wife, and their two sons make a trek from Bethlehem to Moab. I have a map for you, here's a dead sea, a little up to the left there is Bethlehem, that's where he died. And then they move, and they take off, and Elimelech takes his family to Moab. And Moab is what is present-day Jordan. Jordan is more than Moab, but it's at least Moab, so that gives you a context for today. And so they take their family, they go there, and then the two sons, they find wives that are Moabitess women, and so they marry them, and then Elimelech dies. So Naomi's husband dies, and then ten years later, both sons die. So here we have Naomi and her two daughters-in-law who are left in Moab. For Naomi, it's a foreign land, for the girls, that is their homeland.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:38] There are four things that I want to say about this story in light of this idea. This. This is a rare picture of loyalty and love. And there are four characteristics as this story unfolds that I think emerge that identify the kind of rarity of this loyalty and this love.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:02] And the first thing that we see in this story, after we see this dilemma, is that a loyalty and a love, it clings. It clings. That'll make sense in just a moment. Ruth is hanging out with her two daughters-in-law. She says, look, I've heard that there's food back in Bethlehem again, we don't have any future here in Moab. She's past the time of childbearing, Naomi is, she won't be able to have any more kids. According to the Levirate law, Jordan identified this a week ago if you were here, a review if you were, and just letting you know if you weren't, the way it worked in that day, when a woman's husband died and she was left a widow, the closest relative, a brother, was to step in and marry her, and then the family line would continue, but would carry the name of the deceased, and that was how it worked. Naomi is saying, look, that's not a possibility, there's nobody else around here that can step in, and be that role. So, girls, you don't have a future being with me.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:20] And so they have an emotional kind of moment in verse 12, Ruth just flat says, there's no hope. And then, in verse 14, it shifts gears a little bit, "So they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law (that's one of the daughters-in-law) but Ruth clung to her. That's why I use the word clings, Ruth clung to her mother-in-law." In verse 15 she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” So Naomi is trying to tell her, look, no future with me, follow the same path as Orpah. "But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17“Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” That is a rare form of loyalty and love. Even in Naomi's grief of having lost her husband and two sons, there was still something about her that Ruth said, I'm sticking with you. There was something about Naomi, and about Naomi's God, that Ruth was willing to switch from her gods to Naomi's God. She was willing to go from what was familiar territory to her, to a place that was unfamiliar. She was willing to switch a community of people that she was familiar with to a community she was not familiar with. That's a rare form of loyalty.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:10] That word, cling, is the same word that Joshua said to the people when they conquered the land, now cling to the Lord. It's the idea of an unbreakable bond. It's the same word for Genesis 2, for a husband and wife to cling to one another; they are an unbreakable bond. And that's the kind of devotion and loyalty and love that Ruth had for her mother-in-law, and she wasn't going to let her go, and she was determined, the Scripture says, to be with her. So we think about that rare kind of loyalty and love, and we see it playing out here with what Ruth is doing with Naomi.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:57] The second thing I'd say about chapter 2 is that that rare kind of loyalty and love, it has with it an idea of making oneself vulnerable. If we're going to truly be loyal and truly loved, then it calls for us to be vulnerable. Now, how did Ruth do that? They arrive in Bethlehem, and when she arrives, everybody's excited to see her, they hadn't seen her in a while. So just think about it, you kind of show back up to your hometown, and she shows up and they start calling her Naomi, and she said, "Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara." Naomi means pleasant, Mara means bitter. She said I left full, and I've come back empty. Once they settle in, she tells Ruth, look, we have a relative, his name is Boaz. And if you'll go to his field and it's the time of the harvest and start working the field, and in that day, what they were required to do is leave a portion of the land for the poor to be able to come and glean. So whoever owned the land, Boaz was the landowner, and he had to leave a portion for the poor to be able to come and glean and get food. So Ruth shows up and she does her thing, and she starts working, and you really can think about Ruth, by the way, is an immigrant migrant worker, that is what she is doing at this point. And she's working and she's getting after it, she's been recognized.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:32] Boaz was out of town, he comes back, he sees this young woman, asks who it is, and they start to describe her. And in verse 8, "Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids." So Boaz is giving her favor, and then he goes on to tell her to tell his workers not to touch her. She was in a tough work environment as a woman. Later, Boaz would tell the workers, you don't insult her, you don't rebuke her, and then here he said, don't touch her. Yet she had made herself vulnerable for the sake of Naomi, to be able to get food and to go out there and to work. And then she can't figure it out, so she falls before Boaz and she says, why are you having favor on me? And he says, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know." I've been told about all of this. And how cool it is in a day when we have such negative news, that we hear about people, they have outstanding reputations, but they're women of character and men of character. Wouldn't we love it today if people came to Christ because we were like Naomi? And even when we were grieving hard times, people would look and say, there is something about you, and I want your God. Wouldn't it be cool if when someone has spoken of us, it was spoken of like Ruth, a woman of character? Later she'll be described as a woman of excellence, they all knew this because of her loyalty and her love towards her mother-in-law. She made herself vulnerable, she takes back what she had received, from the field to Naomi, and reports all that had happened with Boaz, and she was excited to hear it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:51] And then the third thing I would say about this is that someone's going to have a kind of a loyalty and a love like this, that it calls for risks, taking risks. And there's an unusual thing that starts to unfold here in Ruth chapter 3, Her mother-in-law tells her, I want you to go tonight, and when Boaz goes to sleep on the threshing floor, I want you to go in there and lift the blanket and lay down at his feet. And Ruth said to her mother-in-law, she said, all that you say, I'll do it. She trusted her mother-in-law. You say it, I'll do it. Now, this is odd to us, but there is a custom in there that we wouldn't be privy to unless we were in this culture, and there's this whole idea of a kinsman redeemer. Twenty-three times in the book of Ruth, the word redeemer is used, the word redeemer means to buy back. And there's a symbolic action that's about to take place for the one that's the kinsman redeemer, and the kinsman is the closest relative to the person, in this case to these ladies. So the closest relative can redeem the family. So Ruth does what her mother-in-law says.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:19] Boaz had a few drinks. He makes his way to the threshing floor, lays down, and covers himself up. Ruth sees it happen, and then she secretly heads there, uncovers his feet, and lays down. Now it happened in verse 8, "It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet." I can see why he'd be startled. And so he asked a legitimate question, Who are you? When I laid down here there was nobody, now I look, and there's a woman at my feet. "Who are you? She says I'm Ruth, your maid." that's who I am. So spread your covering over your maid, for you're a close relative. Her request to him was to spread the covering over the both of them because that's what a kinsman redeemer would do. It is a symbol of the protection that the woman would now have, and she was asking him to be that redeemer for her. A widow had no protection in that day, she needed a kinsman redeemer to come alongside her and be that protection. So spread the cover over both of us. And he describes her as a woman of excellence, and then he says there's actually a relative that's closer to you and to Naomi than me. And he said, so there's some things I'm going to have to do to figure this out.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:52] Which leads us to the next piece of the story, that when we have a love that is rare like this with a loyalty and a love, it sometimes requires us to wait. In verse 18 of chapter 3, "She said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.” So Boaz says, I'm going to take care of this, I'm going to figure out if this guy who's actually the closer relative, if he wants to redeem you, and then if not, then I'll take that role. Now, again, for clarity, the kinsman redeemer, a widowed woman, the next brother, or closest relative is to marry her if her husband dies to carry on the family line and the inheritance. So when the kinsman redeemer takes that role, he's making a sacrifice. Because it won't be in his family line, it's for the sake of the other that it's in that family line, kinsman redeemer.

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:57] So they gather, Boaz gathers them up, he gets ten witnesses, gets the closer relative together, and he says, hey, here's the deal. He said, here's the land that Naomi and Ruth have, and as the kinsman redeemer, your first requirement is to purchase the land, and the guy says I'll do it. There's a great land acquisition, so he was in. But then he said, you'll also acquire Ruth as a wife, and you'll be the kinsman redeemer, and it'll be through you that the name of the family line will be carried on. It won't be your name; it'll be the name of the deceased that's carried on. He says I'm out. He didn't want to sacrifice his family, his family inheritance, he didn't want to sacrifice any of that. Boaz, for him, it's great, and then the custom of that day. the spreading of the cloak was one. but whenever an agreement was made like this, there were witnesses. and the closest relative took off one of his sandals, and he gave the sandal to Boaz. And that was a symbol, a sign that this deal had been made and that he was not going to take the role of the kinsman redeemer, and that Boaz would take that role. And if anyone violated that, then that sandal would be brought into play and they would spit in the man's face, there would be a disgrace to not honor the word that had been committed.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:33] Well, the same kind of love and loyalty is a love and a loyalty that has a hope. And there's incredible hope that has come out of us, Boaz is an upstanding man; Ruth is a woman of character and a woman of excellence. After this agreement is made, they marry, and then Ruth conceives. Everybody's fired up about the baby being born, as we all get fired up about babies being born. In verse 15 of chapter 4, "May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age." This is Naomi's friends, a bunch of women are saying, hey, this grandbaby that you have now, that that this grandbaby will be a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Your daughter-in-law has been amazing in her love for you and look what's happened here. Naomi becomes the nurse of the child and then the neighbor women, in verse 17, "Gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David." So Ruth becomes the great-grandmother of King David, God uses her to advance the storyline of his kingdom through the Messiah that will come out of this line, there is hope in this today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:04] You say, wow, what does that have to do with anything? I hope you've picked up on quite a bit, so let me tie it up for us. Matthew starts the gospel with the family line of Jesus anchoring him into the history of Israel. And there's a rich history of the people that are in the family line, and there's a story to be told about each of them. In this story, Ruth, and Boaz, we see two people that are upstanding, good people, and then we see the concept of the kinsman redeemer. What I want us to all see today, is that whether you see yourself as a good, upstanding person of character, noble, excellent, well thought of in the community, or if you see yourself as someone desperate, you can't believe all the things I've done that are hostile to God and a sin against God, both need a kinsman redeemer to come alongside them.

Ross Sawyers: [00:38:24] Ruth was not okay because she was a loyal and loving daughter-in-law, she needed a kinsman redeemer, and she needed someone to purchase her back. All of us today are in need of a kinsman redeemer and look what happened in that idea. It cost Boaz something to redeem her, he had to purchase the land with his money, and then he acquired her as his bride, and it cost him for her. Jesus Christ paid a price for you and for me on the cross to purchase us for himself, to redeem us, to buy us back for himself. And do you know what happens when, by faith, we believe what Jesus did for us? We receive a new identity. And one of the ways that God identifies us as the Bride of Christ, he has purchased for himself, a bride. Now, I know that's odd to the men. For a woman, you grab that and that's easy for you to grasp. But the imagery that God gives us is that Jesus Christ is the groom and we're the bride. So he has purchased us for himself, and now we have an inheritance in Christ himself.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:06] But before we kind of move into that relationship with Jesus, we need to understand something about genealogies. See my guess is, if you were to do any of those things today, whatever's out there to do to figure out your genealogy, it would not start at the right place for you or for me. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think it's going to start with Adam in the book of Genesis because that is where your family line and my family line begin in a human sense. And every person in the family line of Adam is broken, sinful, desperate, hopeless, and separated from God, it's an ugly family tree to be a part of, and what we desperately need is a kinsman redeemer to come in and adopt us out of this family line and bring us into another family line. And that's exactly what God's offer is, to take a hopeless and broken and sinful people in the line of Adam, and instead bring us into the line of Jesus today. Men and women, Gentile and Jew, great past, bad past, available to everyone to be a part of the family tree of Jesus by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. That ought to cause our hearts to leap for a deeper love for God today, and for those who thought you had no chance, you can know today that God wants you in his family tree. He's the adopter, he's the chooser, and by his grace, believing what he's done, we can be a part of that tree. That's good news today in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:22] Father, thank you for the time we've had this morning, and we're grateful for the time to praise, we are grateful for the baptisms today. And what a beautiful picture today of those being baptized that in the family line of Adam, now in the family line of Jesus. And so thank you for your rescue of each of them. and thank you, Father, that you've done that for so many of us today. And, God, I pray we'd be careful today and make sure sometimes it's the hardest for us when we're good and upstanding people, to realize that we need somebody to redeem us, to rescue us, and to save us. So, God, I pray you'll rescue people from goodness today if that's their dependence for salvation. And Father, instead, I pray that this would be a breaking of the heart, that I'll never be good enough. and I'll never be bad enough to wear the covering of Christ as such that it covers every crevice, every detail of sin in my life. I love that imagery of the kinsman redeemer of covering and, God, you're our protector today, and you've covered us with the blood of Jesus, so thank you. And I pray today that would cause us to be grateful to you, God, that our love for you would increase and our love for others would increase. In this season of hope, I pray, God, that our hope would be constantly in you and renewed in you. And then, Father, I pray we would be instruments of that hope to other people, and to let them know they can have the same. And as dire as things may seem, as bad as things may seem, there is a joy and a hope, there's a rarity of a love and a loyalty available in Christ that's found nowhere else. So I pray, God, that people would know that today and that they would know you, Jesus, in an intimate, personal way.

Ross Sawyers: [00:44:10] So I'd like for us, in these moments, just to be quiet before the Lord. And anything God wants to work in you, I pray and ask that God will open your heart to receive it. And God, that we would walk out of here, and say, like Ruth did to her mother-in-law, but instead to you, Jesus, all that you say, I'll do it. So God, will you help us be that kind of people today? And then we want to emerge out of that space of silence with a response of praise in song to Jesus. It's appropriate today that Jesus we've come forth, not for ourselves, so I pray that we might have a response that glorifies God in our song. In Jesus' name.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213