Inspiration

God Knows You and Calls You by Name

“When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name! ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said” (Luke 19:5 TLB).

All of Zacchaeus’ life, he’d been ridiculed and rejected, first for his appearance and then for his sinful life. But Jesus did more than just look at him. By calling Zacchaeus by name, Jesus showed that he knew him. Imagine the shock Zacchaeus must have felt! How did Jesus know his name?

God not only knows where you are, he also knows who you are. He knows what you’re going through, why you’re going through it, and how you feel about it. He knows you better than you know yourself. He cares about you personally.

The name Zacchaeus means “pure one.” That’s the last thing that comes to mind when you think of a corrupt government official. He was anything but pure. And yet Jesus, calling Zacchaeus by name, was saying, “Hey, pure one, I’m coming to your house today.” Jesus was affirming what he saw in Zacchaeus, not what Zacchaeus was.

You may be afraid to get close to Jesus because you think he’s going to scold you for all the things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus wants to affirm you. He wants to let you know how much he loves you.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT).

When Jesus died on the cross and stretched out his arms and the soldiers put nails through his hands, your name was engraved there. When you get to Heaven, there will be no scars on anyone except Jesus. He’s going to have those scars for eternity to remind us how much he loves us, a way to say, “Do you think I could forget you? Not a chance! This is how much you matter to me.”

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Talk It Over

  • What does it mean to affirm someone?
  • How does it make you feel to know that God affirms you and could never forget you?
  • What can keep you from getting close to Jesus?
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