Ruth is an important figure in the life of Jesus. Although she does not appear in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, her story is intertwined with his lineage and prophesied in the Old Testament. In this article, we will explore why Ruth is important to the life of Jesus.
The Story of Ruth
Ruth was a Moabite woman who married into an Israelite family. After her husband’s death, she decided to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Naomi’s homeland of Bethlehem. Despite being a foreigner in a new land, Ruth remained loyal to Naomi and worked hard to provide for them both.
One day, while gleaning in a field belonging to Boaz, a wealthy landowner, Ruth caught his eye. Boaz was impressed by her loyalty and hard work and began to show kindness to her. Eventually, Boaz married Ruth and they had a son named Obed.
Ruth’s Importance in Jesus’ Lineage
Obed would become the father of Jesse, who would then be the father of King David. This makes Ruth not only an ancestor of David but also a direct ancestor of Jesus himself.
Matthew’s Gospel includes Ruth in Jesus’ genealogy, stating that “Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab [another important woman in biblical history], and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth” (Matthew 1:5).
By including Ruth in his genealogy, Matthew emphasizes that Jesus’ lineage is not just traced through Israelite men but also through women from other nations. This highlights the inclusive nature of God’s plan for salvation and foreshadows Jesus’ ministry to all people regardless of their ethnicity or background.
Ruth’s Faithfulness as a Model for Christians
Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi and willingness to leave behind her own culture and family to follow Naomi’s God is a powerful example for Christians today. Her story shows that loyalty and hard work can lead to unexpected blessings and that God’s plan may not always be what we expect.
Ruth’s actions also demonstrate the importance of caring for others and putting their needs above our own. This selflessness is a key aspect of Christian teachings and can inspire us to live out our faith in practical ways.
In conclusion, Ruth is an important figure in the life of Jesus both as an ancestor and as a model of faithfulness and selflessness. Her story teaches us about God’s inclusive plan for salvation and challenges us to live out our faith by caring for others. By remembering Ruth’s example, we can strive to live a life that reflects God’s love for all people.