Summary: Christmas is about what you hand down from one person to another. You leave a legacy for someone else to follow.
Ruth 4 - Legacy
Christmas is about leaving a legacy.
Let me define what I mean by the word legacy. One definition for legacy is this: Something handed down or inherited from generation to generation.
Christmas is about what you hand down from one person to another. You leave a legacy for someone else to follow. In Ruth, we see a glimpse of legacy in three different ways.
God left a legacy in His Son Jesus Christ.
Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David. (Ruth 4:18-22 NKJV)
We see in these verses a partial ancestry list. We don’t see the connection here, but Matthew connects the dots for us and records the rest of Jesus’ family tree.
Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. (Matthew 1:5-16 NKJV)
Jesus was in the royal line of King David. Ruth and Boaz were the great-grandparents of King David. So, physically, God has left a legacy for His Son Jesus Christ through the line of King David. He starts this line here with Ruth and Boaz.
Ruth and Boaz were just one simple family. But they left a legacy.
Notice the references by the people to a man named Perez. They say that this family should be like the family of Perez. Why do they refer to him? Perez was one of the five clans of the tribe of Judah. Judah was the royal line.
Perez was a son of Judah and Tamar
And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five. (1 Chronicles 2:4 NKJV)
A child from Perez was the chief of the army in Israel.
Over the first division for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel, and in his division were twenty-four thousand; he was of the children of Perez, and the chief of all the captains of the army for the first month. (1 Chronicles 27:2-3 NKJV)
All the sons of Perez who dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred and sixty-eight valiant men. (Nehemiah 11:6 NKJV)
Perez left a legacy that lasted for generations. He came from a difficult family upbringing - his name means divided. Yet, he made an impact.
So the people are saying to Boaz and Ruth, we hope that you leave a legacy just like your ancestor Perez did. But how is Ruth and Boaz going to leave a legacy? They are going to legacy through their son Obed. How they raised Obed would have a future impact on Jesse and then David. Obed’s name means "servant." This is a motto that Jesus Himself will follow.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph’s son?" (Luke 4:17-22 NKJV)
The people were surprised at the first words of Jesus in the synagogue as a young man. Jesus quotes the book of Isaiah and says essentially: "This will be my legacy. Do you want to follow Me?"