Sacred Spaces 298– SAWUBONA – I see you
11 July 2011
Check this out: John 1: 43 – 51
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
When I read this passage recently I thought of the Zulu greeting: Sawubona.
Translated it means; acknowledging the presence of another and enquiring of their health & well-being.
In other words it means: I see you.
Not just a simple word as we have in English, “Hello”
It’s more than that. Sawubona states that you see the other person. Isn’t that what Jesus does when He looks at us?
He does not just greet us. He sees through us. He sees our heart. He sees our story. He sees our lives as a whole. He doesn’t just see our sin. He doesn’t just see who we think we are. He sees our identity in Him.
I love the passage above. Imagine after that encounter Nathanael would have those lines echoing in his head constantly; God himself spoke these words over him: “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
What an honour it would be to have those words spoken about you or me.
Nathanael asks a genuine question; how do you know me?
We could ask that of Jesus too.
How does He know us? Simply, Jesus sees you and me.
We may race past people each day who say out of habit “hello, how are you?” but they don’t really know.
But I know Jesus is the One who sees us. Who actually knows the answer to “how we are.”
Reminds me of the well-known Psalm 139; take a look here
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (vs. 23 NIV)
Thank you Jesus, that you see us. Sawubona!