Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
In 2017, I was in a severe panic anxiety and physical health issues of spinal injury. I got deliverance in one day attend of counselling through forgiveness. I want to convey my deep heartfelt of joy.... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

Seeing Clearly

by Sue Sainsbury

24 November 2023

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“He told me everything I ever did.”
John 4:1-42, NIV

I wonder what the world would look like if we really saw each other as Jesus does.

We know from the very beginning of Genesis, when God created humanity, that we are meant for relationships. It’s how God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). He gave us the capacity to love and be loved, to know and be known - by each other and by God Himself. And so many of us know what it feels like to long for more of that.

It can feel a bit bizarre then, that it is through our relationships that so many of us suffer so much pain. We hurt each other and the words we speak over each other are very powerful - sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Our communities also ‘speak’ to us and are strong voices telling us who we are. Because of this, some of us recoil or hide from others; we try to escape from, or ignore, or spend much emotional energy standing against, the damage people have done in shaping and defining our sense of who we are.

But are those views correct? Who are we really? Most importantly, who are we to Jesus?

Lately, I’ve been pondering the reality that each of us comes to ‘this’ moment in our lives with a story behind us. It’s our story, the life that we’ve each had that has shaped us and which, although sometimes the events happened many years ago, can often affect us in how we respond to those around us and how we perceive the circumstances of today. Sometimes others can ‘write’ stories over us that aren’t true, but we can still get crushed by them and lose sight of who we really are in Christ. It got me thinking about how Jesus sees us, how He understands the stories of our lives, and how He responds to us today and every day. So, how do we know?

The Bible gives us the beautiful gift of ‘wandering about’ with Jesus and of watching how He relates to the people He meets. In John 4, we have a wonderful insight into how Jesus ‘reads’ the story of a woman whom He finds drawing water, alone, in the intense heat of the day when no ‘decent’ woman would be out there. Many interpret this to mean that her neighbours viewed her as scandalous and shameful, with her many ‘husbands’. I wonder, though. Maybe the reality, in a society where women had little choice, is more along the lines that she was actually much rejected, and very vulnerable. She was certainly isolated.

Whatever the reasons, I think she would have had a pretty judgmental story ‘spoken’ over her by the people around her and, as a result, I wonder what she would have thought of herself: inferior, worthless, needing to hide maybe? Jesus, though, knows exactly who she is and what kind of life she lives – and why. He sees her clearly.

I love it that Jesus turns the conventions of His day on their head as He engages her about deep spiritual things. He doesn’t recoil from or ignore her. Instead, by even talking to her, He gives her the dignity and respect that tells her she matters. He even reveals to her who He really is: not just an unusual Jewish man talking to a lowly non-Jewish woman. He is, indeed, the Messiah. Through this wonderful encounter, Jesus values her and trusts her even with being the messenger of hope and truth to her whole community. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Sue Sainsbury and her husband, John, have just begun a big, new adventure as part of the leadership team at Ellel Grange, where they are committed to living lives as disciples of Jesus and helping others on their journey with Him.


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