The Bible doesn’t have much to say about Zacchaeus. We know he was a tax collector, ridiculed for his sinful lifestyle and his appearance. It seems not much has changed about people since Zacchaeus’ time- we are quick to point out sin in other people’s lives and what we see as flaws in their appearances. But Jesus didn’t see Zacchaeus the way the world did. He didn’t say, “hey, come down here sinner” or “come here short guy!” No, Jesus looked up into the tree which Zacchaeus had climbed, and called him down by name.
I often feel like a “wee little man” in a great big world. I often feel labeled or defined by my past, or my appearance, or my sin. But Jesus doesn’t see me that way. What a relief it is to be able to read the Bible, and pray to a God who calls me His. There is such great joy in knowing God’s character and His love for me, but sometimes I get so caught up in trying to know more about God, that I completely bypass the great joy that is found in being known by God.
“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 hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT).
When rusty nails were driven into Jesus’ outstretched hands on the cross, my name was there, written upon the palms of His hands. And Jesus has the scars to prove that He has not forgotten me. And just like Zacchaeus, He knows me by name! He knows my struggle, my hurt and my sin, yet He loves me. He knows me.