He Knows Me By Name
In Luke 19:1-10 we find the classic encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus, who was the chief tax collector in the region at the time.
There was nothing honest about this man. He cheated his own people by stealing money through taxes. Zacchaeus knew his sin, but this did not compel a need for change in him. He built great wealth from this lifestyle and continued to live as if everything was fine.
Then we discover in this encounter how Zacchaeus heard Jesus was in town, and only wanted a quick look at him. Although unsuccessful at first because of his dwarfed height, Zacchaeus rushed ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree and waited. Keep in mind he did all this just for a quick glance at Jesus.
There Jesus found him, and called him out by name, and then invited himself into Zacchaeus’ home.
Maybe the most amazing part of the story was this: Jesus knew exactly who Zacchaeus was – a notoriously corrupt, wicked, fraudulent man – yet He called him by name, and wanted to spend time with him alone, without judgment.
Zacchaeus was not interested in changing his life before he met Jesus. He only wanted to look and see what the big deal was about this Jesus person. On the contrary, Jesus was well aware of the tax collectors deepest need! And He moved graciously to supplement it. By just having Jesus in his home, Zacchaeus was compelled by grace to make restitutions for his sins, and change his ways.
Jesus knows how imperfect and fallen we are, yet he does not call us by our brokenness. He recognises our need of Him alone. So he calls us by name, as he did Zacchaeus. What mattered to Zacchaeus at that point was not the name calling and opinions of the people around him. His only desire was to look upon the face of Jesus. Ultimately, what mattered the most to him was the Lord Jesus Christ looking beyond his sins, and calling him homeward by name.
“How marvellous the grace that caught my falling soul, He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.” – Dottie Rambo