Friday, June 6, 2014

Known by Name

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." And Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher." (Luke 7:39, 40 NASB)

If the Pharisee knew "what sort of person" the woman was, it stands to reason that he knew who she was. If he knew "who" she was, he knew her name, yet he never calls her by her name. "This woman", "a sinner" are the labels he gives her, but he does her no honor by refusing to use her name. He prefers to know her by her mistakes. 

Names are important to us, aren't they? Well, our own names are important to us. They tell us that the person using our name knows us, knows who we are, knows something about us. When speaking to strangers, we do not use their names. When speaking to friends and loved ones, we do. 

Simon did not speak his spiteful thoughts aloud, but Jesus knew. He could likely read it on Simon's face. If she were looking at Simon instead of Jesus, the woman at His feet would have known, too. 

Interestingly, Jesus, knowing those thoughts of Simon's, turns to him. The first word out of His mouth is Simon's name. "Simon, I have something to say to you," Jesus said.  He didn't talk about Simon or against Simon. He spoke directly to him, and He called him by name. 

It is a great comfort to be known by name by Almighty God, isn't it?  If even the hairs of our head are numbered and known by God (Matt 10:30), you can be sure He knows who we are. Jehovah knows us by name and, according to Psalm 139, He keeps track of us. We are never so far from God that He does not know where we are and what we are doing. We are known. 

Take heart, friends, in the knowledge that, though the world may know us and our loved ones by our mistakes, Almighty God knows us by our name and our heart. You are greatly loved and well known. 

Pray today that our loved ones would recognize the watchcare and intimate knowledge of God for them, and be drawn to Him because of His greatly personal love for them.