As I’ve been studying through the story of Zacchaeus, I’ve found some real encouraging principles for my life. Yesterday, I considered the fact that no matter how small I am, Jesus notices me and God pays attention to me. Although I’m only one person in 7 billion on the planet at this time, I’m a very important person to God. Someone once said that if you were the only person on the earth, God would have still sent His son. And His son, Jesus, would have come and died for you all the same! God pays attention to the sparrows. His “eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.” He not only watches and pays attention to me, he also knows me and every part of me.

When Zacchaeus climbed up into the tree and Jesus walked under him, the text tells us that Jesus “looked up.” He noticed him. But more important he said, “Zacchaeus.” He called him by name! Now how did Jesus know this little man’s name? I expect that the Son of God knows each of us by name. I would also expect that Jesus may have been quoting Isaiah 43:1. It says, “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you…he who formed you… Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Later in Isaiah, 49:15-16, God asks a probing question. “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would never forget you! See, I have engraved your name on the palms of my hand.” In church last Sunday we had the nail pierced hands of our lord displayed as a graphic around the worship center. It reminded me of this verse. There’s another verse in Isaiah also it’s the very cry of Isaiah for everyone to hear the messianic message that he brings. He says, “Listen to me…and give attention… you peoples… The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.”

I often struggle at church to know everyone’s name. It used to be I knew everyone. But things have changed, most important of which, I’m getting older! But I know I’ve offended more than a few people by calling them by the wrong name. I hate it when I do that because I know how good I feel when people remember me and can call me by name. I hope you let God speak to you from the story of Zacchaeus. I hope you can hear him say to you , no matter what anyone says, no matter how easily we’re forgotten by others, no matter how lost alone you might feel, God pays close attention to you. God calls you to him by name! He knows everything about you and wants you to draw close to him. Jesus said, “come to me (Chuck, Kathy, etc), and I will give you rest.”

“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3