Ever realize that anyone can come into the church and bring forth Christ? That’s the message of the book of Ruth. Ruth was an outsider, a moabitess, someone not allowed among God’s people (Deut. 23:3). But she entered the country and was accepted by a leader and wealthy man among them, who redeemed her and married her. She then became an ancestor of Christ. I’ve seen this worked out among my parents’ generation and even a little among my peers.
A friend of ours is heading to Japan to visit her father who has cancer. I thought it would be good to send him something from the Bible, since this may be the last opportunity for him to believe into the Lord Jesus with his daughter. I recently heard that a typical Japanese has trouble understanding the Christian gospel because their concept of God, sin, and grace are very different from ours. What you have to do is present the story of God’s salvation through the stories of the Old Testament and through the parables of Jesus.
Since I’m currently reading through the books of history, and have just wrapped up a short study on Ruth, I was planning on posting about Ruth’s statuses as seen in selected verses from the New Testament. But with this Japanese interlude I decided to post a few photos of the packet I made for the Japanese man as well. So this is a hybrid: Ruth told anew (in Japanese) and Ruth retold.
Ruth in Japanese is ルツ記
So here you go. I pulled together eight verses from the New Testament that provide the caption to the picture of Ruth the Moabitess. (This is based on Witness Lee compilation of the statuses of Ruth from His Life-Study of Joshua, Judges, Ruth .)
I realize now it doesn’t fully convey the story of Ruth, but it might help you interpret the story if you already are familiar with it.
Ruth is a natural man
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…
Ruth, like everyone else, becomes a fallen man
18 So then as it was through one offense unto condemnation to all men…
19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners…
Ruth is a Gentile
11 Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, those who are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands,
Ruth marries Mahlon, constituting the old man, composed of the natural man and the fallen man as a pair.
2a For the married woman is bound by the law to her husband while he is living…
Ruth’s husband dies, leaving her a widow
2b but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law regarding the husband.
6 Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;
Ruth is saddled with Mahlon’s debt from his leaving his land and when he dies, becomes a debtor through him.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Ruth is a stranger and a sojourner who joins God’s elect
12 That you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have become near in the blood of Christ.
6 That in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body and fellow partakers of the promise through the gospel,
Ruth is a redeemed by her kinsman Boaz.
4 So then, my brothers, you also have been made dead to the law through the body of Christ so that you might be joined to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit to God.
Ruth is one who kept the line of Christ’s humanity by bringing forth David, and eventually became a crucial ancestor of Christ, bringing forth Christ
Matthew 1:5-6, 17
5 And Salmon begot Boaz of Rahab, and Boaz begot Obed of Ruth, and Obed begot Jesse,
6 and Jesse begot David the king
17 Thus all the generations from Abraham until David…until the Christ…