Some ten-year old boys, led by Johnny, were always making fun of an old man, tormenting him and calling him names. “Here comes old Rattlebones,” they’d call out teasing him whenever they saw him on the street. “Rattlebones, Rattlebones, moves as though he walks on stones”, was the usual taunt.

Then one day there was a knock at Johnny’s door and his mother went to answer it. There, standing on the doorstep and smiling warmly, was Old Rattlebones himself. “Oh, my goodness it’s you!” cried Johnny’s mother with obvious joy. “Please come in, come in,” she beckoned him. “Johnny. Johnny, come quickly,” shouted his mother, “come and meet the man who once saved your life.”

Johnny appeared but then immediately froze when he saw who it was. Putting her arm around Johnny’s shoulder, his mother continued, “Remember I told you how, when you were a baby, your pram rolled down the hill and fell into the canal? This man here, without any regard for his own personal safety, jumped into the icy waters to rescue you.” Then pausing slightly, she continued, “He saved your life that day, but the exposure to the icy waters left his health so severely damaged that he has suffered from chronic arthritis ever since!”

Overcome with guilt and shame, Johnny looked up at the man who had saved him. “Please forgive me,” he said, “I didn’t recognize you. I had absolutely no idea who you really were. I didn’t know it was you!” – We need to recognize Jesus for who He is – our rescuer, our Saviour.

R. Ian Seymour