Redemption and Salvation in The Book of Tobit

blind-tobit

The Book of Tobit is an astonishing book. It is a part of the Septuagint Old Testament, and therefore only in Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bibles. Until 1929, it was included in Protestant Bibles (in the section called “apocrypha” or “hidden things.” I don’t know why they thought it was hidden.) It is a very Christian book. Most of you probably have never read it, so let me summarize.

In a nutshell, it’s about a man named Tobit, and his son Tobias. Tobit is a righteous man, who apart from his other work, labors to take care of the poor and needy. He even leaves his dinner, hot on the table, to go and bury the dead whom no one else cares about. That’s righteousness. One day, in an interesting way, he suddenly goes blind (How? read it for yourself, I can’t spoil everything). Tobit, old and blind, wants to find a good wife for his son before he dies.

Sent by God, the Archangel Raphael appears, and posing as a distant relative, agrees to take Tobias to find a wife. He takes him to a woman who has been married seven times, but on the wedding night of each marriage, a powerful demon appears and kills the groom, leaving the new bride a virgin maid. No one will marry her now, and it’s not hard to understand why. Tobias arrives, and bravely announces that he will marry her. When the demon appears, Tobias forces the demon to flee, and takes her back home. Raphael dramatically reveals himself as an angelic visitor, and they live happily ever after. Whew. That’s the condensed version. It’s a fun read, though, so please don’t take my word for it.

What does this have to do with redemption and salvation from a Christian perspective? Why did the early Christian teachers and Fathers hold this book in such high esteem? They certainly considered it important enough to be in the Bible. Why is it even in the Bible at all?  

Let have a look at this situation.

A loving Father, sends his only Son, accompanied by a holy Spirit, to rescue a helpless Bride held captive by an evil spirit who fills her life with hopelessness and death. This Son defeats the evil spirit, saves the Bride, and takes her back to live with Him in the Father’s house.

(…)

The Book of Tobit is a powerful telling of, and a typological foreshadowing of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, accompanied the power of the Holy Spirit, to rescue humanity from the devil, and take us back with Him to His Father’s House.

What a powerful prophecy! What a great story!

(…)’

source: John Peck (frjohnpeck).

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