The Kinsman Redeemer - Part III
Dr. Joe Temple


Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Ruth, that portion of the Word of God which we are studying together. We will not be making a great many references to the book of Ruth except as a basis of departure. We will be looking at quite a few passages of Scripture which will emphasize the point that we want to leave with you today. Keep in mind that we are studying the book of Ruth at the present time from the standpoint of soteriology. We want you to become familiar with this word. We speak of soteriology because the Greek word for “salvation” is soteria , and the word “ology” refers to the study of salvation, or redemption, as it is found in the book of Ruth.

We have suggested to you that the study of salvation and redemption in the book of Ruth has a peculiar quality about it that no other portion of the Word has in the detail that Ruth has, and that is the detail that is presented in relation to the study of redemption from the standpoint of the kinsman-redeemer. We mentioned to you that the near kinsman, the kinsman-redeemer, is mentioned twelve times in the book of Ruth. That word comes from the Hebrew word gawal , and it is translated by the word “ransom,” and it is translated by the word “redeem.” So we expect to find in our study of the book of Ruth illustrations of the kinsman-redeemer–the kinsman who is able to ransom, the kinsman who is able to redeem.

We suggested to you that just anyone could not be a kinsman-redeemer. There were five requirements of the kinsman-redeemer recorded in the Word of God. First, he must be a near kinsman–that is, related by blood to the person involved. Then there must be a willingness on the part of the redeemer to exercise his privileges of redemption. Number three, he must possess the ability to redeem. He might be willing conceivably and yet not have the ability to redeem the individual concerned. Then we discovered the fourth requirement–that he must be free himself. There must be no incumbencies which would keep him from doing the thing that his heart desired to do. The fifth thing is that he must have the price of redemption.

The Willing Redeemer

If you are thinking, you realize that there is somewhat of an overlapping in these requirements, and yet they are so distinctive that we will not be able to understand this doctrine of redemption in its entirety unless we consider each one of them individually. The last time we were together we considered how Boaz, in the book of Ruth, was the near kinsman of Ruth and exercised his right as a near kinsman, being a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who exercised His right as near kinsman when He became flesh and paid for our redemption.

Now we want to notice with you the second requirement of this kinsman-redeemer–that he must be willing. We are looking at Boaz as the type of the kinsman-redeemer. We suggested to you that he makes a very excellent type for a number of reasons. We want you to notice those reasons with us now because if we are familiar with them and have them fixed in our minds, I think we will be able to better understand. So let me say that the willingness of the kinsman-redeemer is exemplified in the conduct of Boaz in contrast to the nearer kinsman, about whom we have already learned but is brought to our attention again in Ruth, chapter 4, verse 6.

Ruth 4

6And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

You will remember that this near kinsman was nearer than was Boaz, but he wasn't willing. He wasn't willing to redeem Ruth and her inheritance because in so doing it would mar the inheritance that he felt was his. The fact that he was able to has very little bearing on the subject. He was not willing to. If you will notice there in Ruth, chapter 4, verse 6, he said to Boaz: “I don't want to. You do it.” Boaz responded to the opportunity, as we are going to see, because Boaz was very definitely willing because of his love for Ruth. So we might say that the willingness of Boaz to redeem Ruth and her inheritance was in response to love.

Willingness In Response to Love

Several illustrations are presented here in the book of Ruth. We might refresh your minds by noticing what is said in verse 5 of chapter 2.

Ruth 2

5Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

We don't take the time to read the whole story because we have read it and made references to it several times. You will recall that Boaz was gone away on business, and while he was gone Ruth decided that she needed to do something to help fill the family larder. The cupboard was bare. The pantry was bare, and so she went out to glean in the fields, which was the custom of the people of that day. After the harvesters had gone through the field, individuals could gather the grain that was left. As she went out to glean, as we learned, she happened to light upon the field of Boaz. As soon as Boaz got back, he noticed her. The whole implication of the story was that it was love at first sight. He inquired about her. He got her life history, figuratively speaking, and made provisions for her in a way that he would not have made in relation to any other person. Notice verses 8-10:

Ruth 2

8Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
9Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

This represents love's manifestation; and when Boaz carried through the procedure of redemption, he did so in response to love, which is further indicated in the paragraph which begins with verse 15 of chapter 2, where you read:

Ruth 2

15And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

That is, let her do her gleaning before you have done any harvesting and don't scold her for it. Then he said:

Ruth 2

16And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

The idea was that as you are harvesting, be careful that you leave some good amounts of grain that when she gleans, she will appear to be getting what harvesters have left. She wouldn't get near that much if he did not provide for her in the manner that I am suggesting. So you read in verse 17:

Ruth 2

17So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

This was enough for about five days of eating.

Refusal to Rest Until Finished

There is another indication of how Boaz exemplified the willingness of the kinsman-redeemer in regard to his restlessness until the work was finished. In chapter 3 of the book of Ruth, verse 18, you will recall that Ruth had gone home and reported to her mother-in-law, Naomi, all that had happened. The mother-in-law said, in verse 18:

Ruth 3

18Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

The words of Naomi to Ruth emphasize the restlessness of the Lord Jesus Christ in behalf of our salvation. Boaz exemplified the conduct of the willingness of a kinsman-redeemer by refusing to rest until the work had been complete.

We pointed out to you in the study of the book of Ruth that typical study is worthless unless you follow through with the study of the antitype. The study of the type will have very little value unless you can follow through with the study of the antitype. The type in our story is Boaz. The antitype is the Lord Jesus Christ. So we would like to suggest to you that which was exemplified in the conduct of Boaz was fulfilled in the antitype, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Willingness Declared

We are talking about the willingness of the kinsman-redeemer, so we notice the willingness of the kinsman-redeemer declared. Turn in your Bibles, please, to Psalm 40, which records very interestingly what I refer to as conversation in the corridors of Heaven long before this earth was ever created.

Psalm 40

6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.

You will notice that the word “LORD” in verse 9 has ever letter capitalized, which means it is the translation of the word “Jehovah” and a reference to God and not to the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “God” here is the translation of the word Elohim , which is always used in connection with God, never in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. So the person addressed is God, and the person who is speaking, as we shall see in a moment, could be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Willing Bondslave

While we are still in this portion of the Word, I would like for you to notice what it is the Lord Jesus Christ says. In verse 6:

Psalm 40

6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Notice the first and third statements: “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire.” In light of what we are going to say a bit later, the statement simply means that sacrifice and offering–animal offerings, burnt offerings, sin offerings, and animal sacrifices–were not sufficient to meet the demands of God. There had to be someone who would be a willing servant.

We find the first suggestion as to whom that willing servant was in the phrase, “mine ears hast thou opened.” If you were to look at that phrase without reference to other Scriptures, you might think that the individual who is speaking here is simply saying, “I'm listening. My ears are opened.” But the reference is, rather, to the Old Testament practice of recognizing the bondslave–the slave who received his freedom at the year of jubilee, but declined to take his freedom out of love for his master. His master then would take him to a door where there was a door jamb, and he would take an ordinary awl such as you might use to punch a hole through a piece of leather, and he would put the lobe of the person's ear up against the door jamb, and he would piece his ear. He would put a hole through his ear, and that would be an everlasting reminder that that individual could have had his freedom. He had every right to it, but he willingly surrendered that freedom to another.

I call your attention to that because we are speaking of the willingness of the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer. His willingness, I would point out to you, did not begin after man's sin when the Godhead got together, hypothetically speaking, and said, “What can we do to undo the work the Devil has done?” Long before man sinned, the Lord Jesus Christ became the bondslave.

I would like to digress long enough to say that all of us could learn that kind of slavery, not a legalistic servitude, not a service to God and Christ that we render because we are afraid we will go to Hell if we don't, not a service that we render because we are afraid something awful will happen to us if we don't, but rather, a willing service. We don't have to do it, but we do it because we are willing. Certain sacrifices that we might be called upon to make in order to do the service the Lord would have us do, we don't have to do those sacrifices. We simply do them because we are bondslaves. This is the beauty of a surrendered life.

Delight In Doing God's Will

Notice verse 8 of Psalm 40, which indicates the willingness of the Lord Jesus Christ again. We read:

Psalm 40

8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

We notice the phrase particularly, “I delight to do thy will.” My, if we could all say that! I wonder how many of us do the will of God because we have no choice really. But the Lord Jesus said, “I delight to do thy will.”

Hebrews 10

5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

You may be wondering, and you would have every right to do so, why I am so bold as to declare that this is a conversation that was carried on between God the Father and God the Son in the annals of eternity. Our reason is found in Hebrews, chapter 10. We ask you to turn there to notice the similarity of the Scriptures, the conversations, so that you can realize that this is indeed a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ and not to David, the psalmist. If we had time to read chapter 10, we might recognize the insufficiency of animal sacrifices to take away sin, the inability of that occurring. Notice, please,

in verse 5:

Hebrews 10

5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Only one person has ever come into the world for whom a Body was prepared so that He might enter that Body. That was the Lord Jesus Christ. Here in verse 5 is an interesting reference to the virgin birth. Here in this verse is another reference to how the near kinsman was able to be the near kinsman, how the Lord Jesus Christ became flesh. A Body was prepared for Him.

Hebrews 10

6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure [that is, they simply don't get the job done] .
7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

He taketh away the first order–that is, animal sacrifice–that He may establish the second order. What is that? Complete obedience to the revealed will of God on the part of the bondslave.

Notice verse 10:

Hebrews 10

10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

There is no question but what this is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice, “once for all,” is emphasized in verse 10. Your eternal destiny and mine is settled today on the basis of the fact that His Body was offered once and for all, never to be offered again.

Sometimes when we get to thinking about our unworthiness, and I think it is beneficial for us all to realize how utterly unworthy we are, we might be tempted to think perhaps we are not good enough to be saved. How could we be made fit to live in Heaven? We are not good enough, but our goodness doesn't enter into it. Recognize the truth of verse 10. By the will of God we are sanctified, the will performed by Jesus Christ, the offering of His Body once and for all.

A Willing Sacrifice for Sin

There are other passages of Scripture which describe for us the willingness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I would like for you to notice them for our mutual blessing. Turn to chapter 10 of the Gospel of John. You will notice in verse 14, the story of the Good Shepherd.

John 10

14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

You will notice the emphasis on the laying down of life in verse 15: “I lay down my life for the sheep.” Just a simple statement that He was going to die for the sins of mankind. The thought is further developed, in verse 17, to include the Resurrection where He said, “I lay down my life that I might take it again. I am laying down my life, and I plan to arise from the dead after I have died.”

Then in verse 18 He reaches the climax of emphasis upon his willingness as kinsman-redeemer by saying, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

Sometime when you have time, I would suggest that you read the crucifixion stories in each of the Gospels. Each of them are different in the manner in which He died. Oh, yes, they tell the story of His death upon the Cross, but the the difference is in the manner in which He dealt with His Spirit. When you die, when I die, we gasp our last breath and that's that. We have no control over our death. When we die, we die. But it is an interesting thing to notice in the Gospel of Matthew that when the Lord Jesus Christ died, there is no record that He gasped a breath as a helpless individual human might do. Rather, since the Gospel of Matthew presents the Lord Jesus Christ as King, you read in connection with the Crucifixion that He dismissed His Spirit just as a king might dismiss a servant that he had no more use for. The servant had performed whatever work there needed to be done, and the Lord Jesus Christ yielded up the Spirit. “I have no more need of Him.” I would suggest that you notice the differences in each of the Gospels. It would be an interesting study, and you would come away from that study convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ died a willing sacrifice.

I think one of the most interesting references to the willingness of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in chapter 12 of the book of Hebrews. Go back there for a moment and notice verse 2. It might be wise to read the first verse for personal application:

Hebrews 12

1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2Looking 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.

Notice the statement, “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” He looked forward to the joy that was His in being able to redeem the world from sin. He despised the shame that was related to it, but willingly went ahead with the full plan of redemption.

The Gethsemane Experience

I would ask you to look with me to chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew; and as you turn with me to that portion of the Word of God, I would like to remind you that the interpretation that I am going to suggest to you is one with which a great many Bible scholars will not agree. I have taught it this way for years, and in my opinion it is the only sensible interpretation of the passage. Notice the paragraph which begins with verse 16:

Matthew 26

16And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
17Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
18And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
19And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
20Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
21And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
23And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
25Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
30And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

The most common interpretation of His Gethsemane experience which we have read is that the Lord Jesus Christ was trying to get out of going to the Cross and that at the last minute, He had some second thoughts and He said, “Lord, take this cup away from me if it is possible, but if it isn't, well all right. I'll drink of the cup. I'll go on the the Cross.” I do not accept that interpretation because I believe that it is inconsistent with the whole character of Christ. I believe it is inconsistent as well with this prehistoric scene at which we looked a bit earlier when He said, “Lo, I come to do thy Will, O God.” I believe it is inconsistent with what we found in John and with what we found in Hebrews, chapter 2. I do not believe the cup that the Lord Jesus Christ was asking not to be made to drink of was Calvary. I believe it was an attempt by Satan in the Garden of Gethsemane to kill Him so He would not have to go to the Cross. I think the thing that burdened His heart was, “Satan may kill Me here before I can go to the Cross, and there will be no redemption.” Limiting His deity to His humanity as He often did, He said, “Father, if this is Your will, all right; but I don't believe it is Your will. I can't conceive of it being Your will.”

Satan's Attack In the Garden

Now, again you have the right to ask my why I take such a position. I am going to ask you to turn to chapter 5 of the book of Hebrews, verse 5:

Hebrews 5

5So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
6As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec [it is not clear in our English text, but it is in the original that the word ”who” does not refer to Melchisedec; it refers to Christ] .
7Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Glance back at verse 7, and you realize there was a time in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ when He spend a great deal of time in anguish of soul–strong crying and tears. The reason there was such anguish of soul was that He was afraid that He was going to die, and He asked to be delivered from that particular death. We are told in this passage of Scripture that He was heard, and God did deliver Him from that particular attack of death.

If the cup in the Garden of Gethsemane is a reference to Calvary, then God did not hear Him then because He did die on the Cross; but if it is a reference, as I believe, to an attack of Satan to kill Him in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was able to do the will of God, then God heard Him. The story goes on to say that He became the author of our salvation through this time of testing which culminated in death.

Our human minds are such that we would like to think that the cup in Gethsemane was Calvary because sometimes after we make our promises to God, we would like to get out from under them. Sometimes we rationalize things so that we won't have to fulfill the complete will of God. The completely surrendered heart is disappointed if it can't fulfill the will of God. One way to test your surrender is to look at a difficult task which you know is the will of God and see how you feel if for some reason you are prevented from doing it. Are you relieved? Are you glad? The truly surrendered heart is disappointed if it can't do that which it knows to be the will of God.

We are talking about the willingness of the redeemer as it is fulfilled in the antitype of Christ, and we have been talking with you about the willingness of Christ which is described in all of these passages of Scripture.

The Necessity of Self-denial

I would like for you to notice now the self-denial that was necessary to be a willing kinsman-redeemer. The nearer kinsman than Boaz, whatever his name was, we don't know, could have denied himself and become that redeemer. But he said, “No, if I become the redeemer, then I will mar my inheritance. I don't want to mar my inheritance. I am not going to do it.” There was no self-denial there.

I ask you to turn to Philippians, chapter 2, because there is the story of how Christ marred, at least for a time, His inheritance in order to become the Kinsman-Redeemer of the world. Notice verse 5:

Philippians 2

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Notice in verse 6 the statement, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” In the form of God, He was equal with God. this phrase, “thought it not robbery,” is not a clear statement of the fact. Rather it could be read, “Who being in the form of God, did not consider it a thing to be held onto without relinquishing it.” You see, hypothetically speaking, He could have said, “God, I don't want to go down there to the earth. I don't want to take upon human flesh. I want to remain here on equality with Thee!” Had He done so, He would have been speaking as the unnamed kinsman in the book of Ruth spoke. But no, He was willing to be made of no reputation and take upon Himself the form of a servant that He might perform the work of redemption. There was the spirit of self-denial in His willingness, and we remind you of what is recorded in verse 5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Are you getting that today? You should have the mind of Christ. It isn't important for you to agree with me. It isn't important for me to agree with you. Things might be easier if we all agreed always. It is very important for you to have the mind of Christ, and it is very important for me to have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ is to be a willing servant of the Lord, recognizing the principle of self-denial to do the work that God wants us to do. If you follow where He leads, that principle of self-denial will be necessary.

We said that Boaz did what he did because of love and what was exemplified in the life of Boaz was fulfilled in the life of the antitype, Christ, so that our redemption is the result of love.

The Result of Love

A number of illustrations might be used to emphasize that fact. We ask you to turn to Ephesians, chapter 5, which is a familiar passage of Scripture to many of you because of the emphasis that we often place upon the relationship that exists between husband and wife. We are not going to read the entire passage because our time is already gone, but you will notice verse 25:

Ephesians 5

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Just as Boaz loved Ruth and gave himself for her redemption, Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. You will notice in the passage further emphasis upon love in verse 27:

Ephesians 5

27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

He loved the Church. He cherished the Church–a result of love.

The Restless Redeemer

The last fact that we want to call to your attention is related to the phrase we have used heretofore–namely, “the restless redeemer.” You will recall that Boaz, the type, did not rest until everything was done related to the redemption of Ruth. And in the antitype, the Lord Jesus Christ, there are Scriptures which illustrate that He, too, was restless until His work was finished.

Turn, please, to chapter 9 of the Gospel of John, verse 1:

John 9

1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

I have read this passage of Scripture the way that it is punctuated in the King James translation. It is an unhappy translation because it levels an accusation against God that I do not like. It levels an accusation against God that is inconsistent with the Scriptures. Read in the manner of which I have read, you would be led to believe that God deliberately permits people to be born blind in order that He might show out. He permits people to be born in malformed condition in order that He might put on a show. That is the gist of the verse in the King James translation, but when the punctuation is changed according to the context–and you do understand, I trust, that there is no punctuation in the Greek language. The punctuation must always be according to the context–we might read the verse this way: “His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents: that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents. His illness hasn't anything to do with his sin or his parent's sin.”

A new paragraph and a new sentence: “But the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” The example of restlessness is seen in that the Lord Jesus Christ refused to get involved in a theological controversy which was being batted about by the Rabbis of that day. The baby was born malformed. It must have been due to some sin the parents committed sometime somewhere. Jesus said, “That isn't the point. The point is let's do something. The point is I must work the works while it is day.” Here He is not referring to a 24-hour day as you see in relation to verse 5. He was referring to the time He had upon the earth. “I haven't got time, three brief years, to enter into theological discussion. I have got to get done what I have got to get done while it is day.”

Satan's Attempt to Thwart God's Plan

Slip back to Matthew, chapter 16, with me for a moment and notice with me a reference to another illustration of the restlessness of Christ in relation to the redemption of the world.

Matthew 16

21From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

You see, Peter, inspired by the Devil, was going to keep Him from going to the Cross. The Lord Jesus Christ was so intent upon dying for the sins of the world, He would let nothing stop Him, not even a well-meaning one who loved Him dearly, Peter by name, and He placed the blame for Peter's false intention exactly where it lay: “Satan, get behind Me.”

I pause long enough to say, Beloved, that if you look at this particular instance within its context, you would see that this would have been one of the few times that you could have expected Satan to rear his head. The atmosphere wasn't conducive to it, but he was there. When we least expect it is when Satan tempts us and tempts us in ways we don't expect. Who would have thought that Peter would have tried to keep Jesus from the Cross, but he did. Why did he do it? If he had been asked, “Why did you do this?”, he probably would have said, “I don't really know.” You know, Satan does get into us sometimes, especially when we are out of fellowship. I am not speaking literally of Satan's indwelling us, because of course that is an impossibility for a believer, but he can prompt us to do things that we can give no rhyme or reason for doing. The Lord Jesus, who looked upon the heart, knew what it was. He could have said, “Peter, why are you talking to me that way?” He didn't. He said, “Satan, get behind me. This is not Peter doing this, not Peter talking like this. It's the Devil.” If you are looking for an explanation of why some things are done, Beloved, maybe you need to look beyond the situation, beyond the person, to the Devil. If he can do it to Peter, he can do it to you. You are not too old for it, either.

Notice one last passage of Scripture with me. Luke, chapter 9, illustrates the restlessness of Christ until the work was done.

Luke 9

49And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

It might be wise for us to remember that. If he is not against Christ, even though we may not be able to endorse and we may not be able to sanction the details, if he is not against Christ, let's not stop him. He may get something done that we don't get done. Notice, please, verse 51:

Luke 9

51And it came to pass, when the time was come [that's an interesting phrase in the Gospel–there was a time. You couldn't hurry it any way in the world. The Mother of Christ tried to hurry it, but it couldn't be hurried] that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

The references to the face of Christ in the Bible would make an interesting devotional study for you if you need something for your own private devotional time. Take a concordance and notice the references to the face of Christ.

We are aware that no one knows what the Lord Jesus Christ looked like. Artists have tried to capture His expressions, and I suppose that there is some question as to whether they ought to do that or not in the light of the fact that we should not make any image of anything in the Heaven above, but still we do appreciate the desire of their hearts. I have often wondered if an artist could capture this expression, “stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” I don't know what a stedfast face is, but I do know that when He stopped there in Samaria, even though His forerunners had made preparation for Him to stay, no one insisted that He stay. Peter said, “You can't go!” But there was something about the face of the Lord Jesus Christ in Samaria, “stedfastly set,” that when they looked upon His face, they didn't say, “Why don't you wait another day?”. They got out of His way.


Christ was restless until our redemption was finished. Boaz, an example, a type, of the willing redeemer. Christ, the willing Redeemer. Our hearts should go out in praise to Him for His willingness to die for us.


We thank Thee, Father, for this time we have had. Speak to our hearts in a real way that causes us to appreciate in a new and precious way the willingness of Christ to die for our sins. For we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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