by Merryn Wood
“Goel” is the Hebrew word for “redeemer”. In the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinical tradition, a redeemer is a person who, as the nearest relative of another, is charged with the duty of restoring their rights and avenging their wrongs. One duty of the goel was to redeem (purchase back) a relative who had been sold into slavery.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?”
The gospel accounts record that Jesus shared meals with tax collectors and prostitutes, who were shunned by society. Jesus saw them for who they were, not what they had done. He didn’t overlook or look past people who experienced pain and rejection. He restored their humanity and set them free from the things in their life that kept them enslaved and away from God.
Sometimes we can feel like we could never come close to God or that our experiences are too painful for others to bear. But it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. Jesus loves you, and he sees you for who you are. He can redeem and restore you, bring forgiveness to your life, and set you free from the things that keep you from God. Sometimes forgiving yourself may seem hard or impossible, but nothing is impossible through Christ, our redeemer.