Jesus and the other - 1 September 2021

By Ben Fourie

Many years ago, my wife and I had the privilege of visiting Father Frans Claerhout in Tweespruit. From the very first time we saw some of his paintings, we were attracted to his work. Shortly before our visit, we saw his beautiful paintings about the Word of God that he made especially for the Bible Society. They are on view at the Bible House in Bloemfontein and really worth a visit when you are in the city.

After our morning tea with him and looking at all the paintings in his studio, he took us to an adjacent little hall where he had a series of paintings called Jesus and the other. I have never, in word or image, seen anything that conveyed as much about what Jesus had come to do for the world than these paintings. It was a sermon in line and colour that I will never forget.

It started with Mary, the mother of Jesus and moved on to different people who crossed his path during the three years of his ministry. After so many years, I cannot recollect all the people depicted in the paintings, but I have selected some people for our devotions this month: individuals and groups whose lives were changed irrevocably one way or the other through meeting Jesus.

It was not for nothing that he came to live “among us” as we have read today. He was there among the people of his day and by becoming a human being himself, created the opportunity to meet man in all his guises: the good, the bad, cowards, the impetuous, those with evil spirits, the sick, outcasts, young and old, children, chief priests and fishermen. They were all there. You and I are also in this line-up, for Jesus came to meet each of us in a very special way.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that you were willing to leave your heavenly home for 33 years to set up a meeting with me. Amen