Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
Testimony
In an instant, I felt the burden being lifted from my shoulders... My life has been transformed dramatically since that day. .... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

Hidden Image

by Dean Gardner

But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put Me to the test, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin for the tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then He said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”
Matthew 22:18-21, ESV

My wife Gemma and I recently returned from some time away in the north of the county where we live. One afternoon we visited a coastal town and, after looking around the local shops, drove to a car park near the beach. Gemma didn’t feel like doing any more walking, so I left her in the car, knitting and listening to the radio, while I took our dog Henry for a walk on the beach.

As I was on my way back to the car, I noticed a small round object in the sand and picked it up to see what it was. The discoloured, corroded metal disc was actually a fifty pence piece, much the worse for wear from its time in the sand. I brushed the sand off and put it in my pocket. Since then, I’ve attempted to remove some of the corrosion and discolouration from the coin, and after being immersed a few times in kettle de-scaler it’s now recognisable as genuine currency. The image of the late Queen, Elizabeth II, is visible along with the text on both sides of the coin.

What really spoke to me as I attempted to bring some restoration to that sad fifty pence piece, was that, technically, even though it was in such terrible condition, its actual value hadn’t changed. It was still worth fifty pence. Its value wasn’t determined by its condition, but by the royal image it bears and the authority of the Royal Mint who made it.

It seemed a picture to me of how all of us human beings, descended from Adam and Eve, still bear something of God’s image, even though that image was broken and distorted when Adam and Eve fell to satan’s lies and temptation. Like my corroded fifty pence piece, it’s that image, barely recognisable at times, that gives every person value in God’s eyes, so much value that He gave Jesus to pay the price for our freedom and forgiveness in His death on the cross. Jesus, though fully God, was fully human from His conception in Mary’s womb, and lived and died perfectly displaying God’s image as a man. As He asked the Pharisees whose likeness they saw on the denarius, they failed to see the perfect image of God in the One standing before them.

If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you have been born again of God’s Holy Spirit, and given a new nature ‘which is being renewed in the image of its Creator’ (Colossians 3:10). That renewing of our new nature is a lifelong process and is sometimes painful as we go through the trials and difficulties of life, but be encouraged, God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in you.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.

 

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