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John 20:11-16 says, “But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
Have you ever wondered how Mary knew that the man she assumed was the gardener suddenly was recognizable as Jesus? We see in this passage that it was simply because He said her name. Don’t you wonder if something changed in His voice? Did her perception simply change? Was a miraculous understanding given to her in that moment? Or, was it simply because no one ever said Mary’s name like Jesus?
I think it’s the latter. I think He said her name and she simply knew. Why? Because no one says our names like Jesus. Once we have heard our name on His lips, we never forget the sound. When our names are on the lips of someone who loves us, we know.
I can’t say exactly why our names being spoken by someone who loves us matters so much, but it does. It is a special thing when our names are being called by our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, or even a dear friend. Our names on a loved ones’ lips is precious. But, nothing can compare to our names being called by the King of kings.
Names are not just important to us, but to God as well. God assures us so many times throughout Scripture that our names are significant to Him. Why else would He have changed Abram’s name to Abraham, Jacob’s name to Israel and commanded that the forerunner of Christ be named John? He changed Peter’s name as well. Our names are important to God and when we have been in God’s presence, we know how He says our names. We recognize His voice. Exodus 33:17 says, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do this thing of which you have spoken for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name.’ ”
He not only knew Moses’ name, but you can be assured He knows your name. Psalm 139:13-18 says, “… thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
Every part of our being matters to God. Our names represent our whole selves, who we are, so of course they are significant to God. Isaiah 43:1 says, “…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
When is the last time you have you heard Jesus call your name? Was it just one time many years ago? Was it last week when you were in church, or when you were praying with a friend? What about today? Have you heard Him say your name today? Have you been in the Lord’s presence and heard Him say…
No one says your name like Jesus. He is saying your name this very minute. Be like Mary and turn your attention fully to Him. Recognize who He is. Listen closely and hear Him say your name today, because no one can say your name like Jesus.