I’ve got an old Massey Ferguson tractor at home. I have a nice place all cleaned out for it in the barn. But it’s not in the barn. It’s sitting out in the weather, right outside the barn. The reason it’s sitting there is because, earlier this year, I started it, put it into gear and backed it out of the barn. There were only a couple of problems. As it was backing out, I realized I had no control of the steering. I could crank and crank on the steering wheel and it wouldn’t turn. So, as it was backing out, the front wheels began to drift toward the side of the barn. Simple solution, right? I’d just stop until I could get the wheels turned. Not so simple. I stepped on the clutch. Nothing happened. I couldn’t get the clutch to engage. Well, luckily, the front of the tractor just skidded along the side of the barn and out into the field before I got the thing killed. And there it has sat. I started it once just to watch the field mice run out. But other than that, it hasn’t moved. Now, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a mechanic. And I don’t have the tools, time, nor patience to be one. But even someone as mechanically inept as I can figure out what the problem is. I have a hydraulic problem in the steering and my clutch is out. It’s not rocket science figuring out what the problem is. All you have to do is open your eyes and you can see it. The problem is what to do about it. I can identify the problem, but I am utterly incapable of doing anything about it. I’m pretty good at a lot of things. I’m a pretty good carpenter—but a circular saw won’t do anything for it. I know telephone cable and communication systems like the back of my hand—but the tractor’s problem isn’t circuitry. I can teach—but for some reason that old tractor just doesn’t want to learn. So, there the tractor sits. In our society today, it’s easy to see what’s wrong with it. It’s easy to look around and see what’s broken. The problem is, knowing how to fix it. As I was preparing, I came across something that really sets the stage for our text this morning. I don’t know who wrote it, but it’s called Our Greatest Need.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a redeemer.
The story about the Massy Ferguson comes from Jim Drake, Pastor of Brushfork Baptist Church.
The Hebrew had what they called a ‘ga’al‘, a kinsman redeemer [Ruth 4:14]. The kinsman redeemer had to have two abilities:  He had to have the means or the power and  He had to be willing. In Ruth’s case [through Naomi], Boaz had the money to buy to redeem the family farm and he wanted to do it. There are two kinsman redeemers in the story, the first had the power but not the desire. The gospel is that Jesus is our ‘ga’al’: He has the power to save us and the desire. Folks, you can’t state the gospel any clearer: it is a wonderful word picture.