Daily D – Luke 19:5
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” LUKE 19:5 (NLT)
My father and I entered a cafe in Emory, Texas one hot summer day for a blue plate special. I was around twelve years old at the time. The place was busy, as usual, and we would have a hard time finding a table where we could sit. As we entered, a man with a dark beard looked at my dad and called him by name. Dad nodded as the man passed and exited the building.
When we sat down, Dad looked at me and asked, “Who was that? I don’t know that man.”
Google and Apple are working right now on a joint project to show government leaders who all we have been in contact with by tracing the locations of our iPhones and phones using Google’s operating system. Perhaps you have seen the video that shows how the Spring Break students on a single beach in Florida spread out across the country carrying COVID-19 with them everywhere they went.
So for someone you have never met to step up and call you by name is no big deal today. Certain someones could step up and tell everywhere you have been, everyone you have talked to, everything you have purchased, everything you have looked at online, and on and on. No big deal, they tell us. As soon as this crisis is over, we will go back to protecting your privacy.
A report yesterday showed an area especially hard hit by COVID-19. To go into a business or to eat in a restaurant, you have to scan a code with your phone. This will then give a red, yellow, or green light. Green means those closest to you have little to no known exposure to COVID. Yellow indicates more exposure. Red means you have been in contact with someone who has the virus. No big deal. However, you cannot buy from those businesses if your scan turns red, and maybe not if it turns yellow.
Conspiracy theorists are having a hard time deciding if this is Big Brother or the Mark of the Beast.
On a lighter note, Jesus called a man by name he had never met. “He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name.” This no doubt caught Zach by surprise. It apparently delighted him as well. The reason he was up in that tree is that he hoped to see Jesus. He hoped he would get to meet him. He was, as you know from the song you sang in Sunday School as a child, “a wee little man.” He was the kind of guy who easily got lost in crowds. He was probably really good at Hide ’n Seek.
Jesus knew right where to find him. He was looking for him. He knew him by name. He was one of the lost he “came to seek and save,” (v. 10).
Jesus has been contact tracing you since before you were born. He knows all about you. He knows your name. He knows the name he has in reserve for who you will ultimately become (Rev. 2:17). He knows all you have done. He is well acquainted with your failures. His message to Wee Zach is the same as his message for you: “I must be a guest in your home today!”
Jesus wants to come to your house. He wants you to know him heart to heart just as he knows everything about you. He wants so much more than religious observances, worship services, a small group to attend, and a little service project here and there. He wants a deep and abiding friendship.
Let us review:
- Jesus knows you by name.
- Jesus knows all about you.
- Jesus came to seek and save you. Good Friday and Easter were all about you!
- Jesus came to have a deep and abiding friendship with you that starts with what you are now called and leads to the ultimate name change.
The name Zacchaeus means clean or pure. That is not what the people of Jericho called him. They knew him as a notorious sinner (v. 7). Jesus looked beyond what was to what could be by his grace. He saw not a dirty, rotten scoundrel, but a clean and pure child of God.
Suppose Jesus called you out of the crowd, called you by name, and said, “I must a guest in your home today!” Would you welcome him? What do you think would change? In Rev. 3:20 we read, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
Jesus knows you by name. He knows all about you. He came to seek and save you. Jesus wants to be your friend. My suggestion? Open the door and let him in.
I will welcome Jesus into my home and into my heart.
Our Father, thank you for knowing us by name, for knowing all about us, and for loving us into all that we can be by your grace. Here is my life. Take it and improve. Renovate it. Restore it. Increase its value to everyone who can trace a contact to it. Make me the right kind of contagious. Amen.
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Ruth 1:20, 21 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (CSB)