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Ruth, the baby sister of Jesus, was born on Wednesday evening, April 17, A.D. 9. Due to the recent death of Joseph, Jesus, to best of his ability, endeavored to take the place of his father in comforting and ministering to his mother during this trying and peculiarly sad ordeal. For almost a score of years (until he began his public ministry) no father could have loved and nurtured his daughter any more affectionately and faithfully than Jesus cared for little Ruth.

As soon as Ruth grew up, she was taken in hand by her older sisters Miriam and Martha. In their time, the girls of Jewish families received little education, but Jesus maintained (and his mother agreed) that girls should go to school the same as boys, and since the synagogue school would not receive them, there was nothing to do but conduct a home school especially for them.

Baby Ruth was the sunshine of the home; though thoughtless of speech, she was most sincere of heart. She just about worshiped her big brother and father. But they did not spoil her. She was a beautiful child but not quite so comely as Miriam, who was the belle of the family, if not of the city. After March of the year, A.D. 24, all the older children were married, and only Ruth remained at home with Mary. Later that year, Jesus called a family conference at which he proposed that his mother and Ruth go to Capernaum to live in the home which he had so recently given to his brother James. Shortly afterwards, Jesus left town with a caravan while Mary and Ruth moved to Capernaum, where they lived for the rest of Mary’s life.

In the summer of 26 A.D. when Jesus began his public ministry, it occasioned the starting point of an ever-widening gulf between Jesus and his family. This situation continued throughout his public ministry — they very nearly rejected him — and these differences were not fully removed until after his death and resurrection. His mother constantly wavered between attitudes of fluctuating faith and hope, and increasing emotions of disappointment, humiliation, and despair. It was only Ruth, the youngest, who remained unswervingly loyal to her father-brother. Indeed, Ruth was the only member of Jesusfamily who consistently and unwaveringly believed in the divinity of his earth mission from the times of her earliest spiritual consciousness right on down through his eventful ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension; and she finally passed on to the worlds beyond never having doubted the supernatural character of her father-brother’s mission in the flesh. Baby Ruth was the chief comfort of Jesus, as regards his earth family, throughout the trying ordeal of his trial, rejection, and crucifixion.

When the Master finally breathed his last, there were present at the foot of his cross John Zebedee, his brother Jude, his sister Ruth, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca, onetime of Sepphoris. After the resurrection of Jesus, Ruth remained at Bethany with Lazarus’s sisters, Martha and Mary while the rest of Jesusfamily returned to Galilee. Later, the intrepid David Zebedee who had so faithfully managed a messenger service for Jesus and the apostles, left Bethany with his sisters Martha and Mary, for Philadelphia the day after his marriage to Ruth, Jesus’ youngest sister.

See also