He Knows My Name - Zacchaeus

HE KNOWS MY NAME- Part 1 Zacchaeus

TEXT: Psalm 139:1-6

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.


Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.



There are three attributes of God:


Omnipresent—all places at the same time,

Omniscient—all-knowing—he knows everything there is to know, about this world, about me, about the future—anything there is to know, He already knows it.


God is great enough to rule this mighty universe but small enough to live within my heart.


We were all given names when we were born.

And with your name you also inherited a surname, which means that you are part of a specific family.

Some people are not happy with the names they were given and they will sometimes use abbreviated forms of their names.

Nonetheless, everyone likes to be known by their name.


Everyone likes to know that someone knows their name and knows them.

It shows intimacy.

It shows that the person has put in some effort to actually know you.


These days, unfortunately, we are seldom known by our names, but rather by a number.

You need to know your ID Number by heart.

When you complete the forms you have to enter your Id Number.

When you complete your Tax Return you have a number that was allocated to you.


I remember when Bro. Rivera was a member of the Police force he had a badge number.


We became numbers to people.

That is who you are to most people – Just another number.


It is impersonal and it reflects an unwillingness to know you as a person.

And even if they know your name, are they willing to spend time with you to get to know you better?


Most of the time not.

And even if they know your name, it still does not mean that there is a relationship there.


For example, if I were to apply for a loan at a bank they would know me as Mr. Hopper.

Not Mark, but Mr. Hopper.

Very formal.

There is no personal relationship.

There is no effort in knowing me better.

To find out who I am and what type of person I am.

My loan application is merited not by who I am as a person, but by numbers.

By what I earn and how much my deductions are.

And I understand that it is impractical to suggest that this would be the way things should be because it cannot be that way for us humans.

We cannot have a personal relationship with everyone.

It is just impossible.

And therefore numbers were allocated to help us manage the people we come into contact with.


But with Jesus, it is a different story.

With Jesus, we are not just another number or name.

Jesus knows our name and He knows us.

He knows our innermost being.


Psalm 139:1-3

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.





This morning we will be looking at another person in the Bible who was rejected by people and who was eventually called by Jesus by name.

And that made the world of difference.

We will be looking at what it means When HE KNOWS MY NAME


I want to call your attention to Luke 19:1-10 (NKJV)

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.

3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;

10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”





His name was Zacchaeus – a Jewish Name (it means he was a Jew)

It means Pure One

He was the Director of the tax collectors

Chief among the publicans (KJV)

Principal tax-gatherer

The Greek term indicates to us that it seems that Zacchaeus was a tax commissioner over the district of Jericho.

He would have purchased this position from the Roman authorities.

The local Jews hated and disliked those who worked for Rome because they often, if not always, overtaxed them.

This is how they made their money.

They did not receive a salary but received either a percentage of the tax they collected or Rome would give them an amount to collect and anything more was theirs.

So therefore they overtaxed the people to ensure they were paid handsomely.


They also had the Roman government as their backup.

So if anyone was to decline to pay taxes or was to assault the tax collector, the Roman soldiers would be summoned and they would address the issue in a Roman appropriate manner – if you know what I mean.


But Zacchaeus was the Director of tax collectors.

This indicates that he had other tax collectors under his authority that worked for him.

And most likely he also received a percentage of their income.


So we see that Zacchaeus was a powerful man.

And He was a very rich man.


Now the Gospel also tells us something else.

And this, I believe, is extremely important, but often taken as just another piece of information.

Zacchaeus was a short man.

Why would that be relevant except to explain why he was in the tree in the first place?

We will look at this a little bit later.



He tried to see who Jesus was

He couldn’t see Him, because of the crowd and because of his size.

It is probable that the people might have seen him trying to see Jesus, but they blocked him on purpose because of who he was.

Some probably closed gaps, moving closer to each other, to prevent him from coming to the front.

They hated him.

Because of this, he climbed a tree to see Jesus better.


He was a Jew and he knew about the prophecies.

He probably heard about Jesus and that he was the Prophesied Messiah.

He heard that this man was the savior of the Jewish people.

He heard that this man had performed miracles and healed the sick.

He wanted to see who this man was.

But nobody wanted to give him the opportunity, because of who he was.

After all, he was a tax collector who only wanted to cheat them and steal their money.

Then he climbed a tree and Jesus called him and told him He wanted to go to his house and stay there.

And here comes the thing


Zacchaeus was glad to welcome Jesus into his home.

6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.



The people voiced their disapproval at Jesus eating at the house of a sinner.You must remember that a tax collector was seen as a sinner and was not allowed in the temple.

It is therefore probable that Zacchaeus hadn’t been at the temple in a very long time.

They were excluded from all religious fellowships including the Temple and Synagogue.

Their money was considered contaminated and it defiled anyone who accepted it.

They could not serve as a witness in any court in Israel.


So the Rabbis and the people rejected these people.

The Pharisees were separatists and did not lower themselves to have anything to do with a tax collector, who was to them no better than a Gentile.


This morning I want us to see what it meant that Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name…



Even if we hide, He knows where we are.

He knew where Zacchaeus was.

Zacchaeus was probably hiding in the tree when Jesus and the crowd of people came by.

He was now a man of stature, rich and with power and therefore it would not have been appropriate for him, as an adult and man of stature, to be climbing a tree and to be in a tree in the first place.

I am sure that he did not want anyone to see him in the tree, because it could have damaged his standing in the community.

He would have opened himself up for ridicule and mockery from the crowd.

Sometimes people are afraid of what people will say about them if they come to Jesus.


So Zacchaeus was hiding in the tree, hoping to get a glimpse of Jesus as He passes by.

He was HAPPY with only getting a glimpse of Jesus.

He was HAPPY seeing Jesus up from the tree.

Seeing Jesus from a distance.


But then Jesus did the unexpected.

Jesus stood still under that tree and He called him.

And by doing this Jesus recognized that He knew where Zacchaeus was.

He indicated to Zacchaeus that he wasn’t invisible to Him.

Maybe the crowd missed him, but Jesus didn’t.

Jesus saw him.

Maybe the crowd chose not to see him, but Jesus didn’t.


Jesus chose to stand still and see him in that tree.

Jesus knew where he was.

But not just that.

Jesus knew in what situation he was in.

Jesus knew his past.

Jesus knew his childhood.

Jesus knew all his secrets.

Jesus knew all the pain he had to endure and still endures.

Jesus saw all the tears that flowed when he was growing up.


Regarding the importance of mentioning his size.

Yes, it was important to mention it in order to explain why he was in the tree in the first place.

But I believe there is something else there as well.

Something much deeper.

I believe that Zacchaeus was probably mocked as a child because of his size.

They probably belittled him.


I am thinking of my own experience at being a child, where children were mocked for different reasons and given names.

Children can be very cruel and not all children grow up forgetting these experiences.

Some children grow up and those experiences grow with them, in them.

It becomes a virus inside of them.

They never really heal from it and some of them will go to the extreme.

Some have this thing in them that they will show the others.

They will get the power and show them.

And I believe that Zacchaeus was one of those children.


I believe that he was mocked because of his size and this is why he eventually became a tax collector.

To show them that he now has the power.


The problem is that nothing can really fill that void of humiliation, except Jesus.

Zacchaeus tried, but he never succeeded…

And then Jesus called him by his name.

"Zacchaeus, come down! I must stay at your house today.”

And that made the difference


Maybe you have lived a Sinful Life

This morning you may be the one hiding in that tree.

Maybe you are struggling with certain things in your life.

Maybe you are living a sinful life and you cannot comprehend that Jesus would even look upon you, lest talk to you, not to mention call out your name.

You cannot think that He can forgive you for what you have done.

Maybe you haven’t lived a life worthy of His calling.


But I have news for you.

Jesus is standing here this morning and He calling your name…


Maybe you have Low Self-Esteem

Maybe there are things in your life that have broken down your self-worth, and your self-esteem.

You might be in an abusive relationship with your husband or wife, either physical or psychological.

You might not enjoy life as it is supposed to be enjoyed.

You are being abused and have hardened your heart towards everyone, including God.

Maybe your partner is not a Christian and it makes things so much more difficult.


Maybe you Blame God for your Problems

Maybe you blame God for what is happening in your life.Maybe you feel that God has abandoned you.

He hasn’t.

He sees you.

He sees what you are going through.

He sees your pain and he cries with you.

Tears are running down His face.


This morning He is calling out your name.

Get out of that tree.

I want to stay at your house.

God is calling your name!


This morning God wants a personal relationship with you.

He wants to fellowship with you.

He is asking you to come to your house.

Won’t you allow Him into your life this morning?

Won’t you eat with Him?

Won’t you allow Him to take you into His arms and comfort you?


Some people are happy with only getting a glimpse of Jesus as He crosses their path.

But Jesus wants more than that for us.

Jesus is calling your name this morning.

Won’t you get down from that tree and meet Him on a personal level?


But when Jesus calls our name He not only shows that He knows where we are…



When Jesus called Zacchaeus name, He immediately indicated to him that He knew who Zacchaeus was.


Just imagine someone you look up to or admire and whom you have never seen in real life or met in any other way, comes to the shopping center you are visiting and, as you pass by to catch a glimpse, he or she calls you by name and says that they would like to come and stay at your house.

What are you going to think?

This person has never met you.

This person has never been formally introduced to you.

Yet he or she knows your name and wants to come and stay at your house and eat there.


I can tell you what I would do.

I would be stunned.

How is it possible for this person whom I admire to know my name?

To know who I am.


I would rush home to make sure that everything was 100%.

I would make sure the toilets are shining.

That everything is in its place.

I would spring clean in 90 seconds flat.

I would want everything to be perfect because I would like this person to have a great impression of me.

After all, this important person knew who I am.


I imagine that Zacchaeus must have felt the same way.

He was rich and possibly sent some of his servants to his house to make sure everything was cleaned.

To make sure that he had enough food.

To make sure that when Jesus arrives, everything is in its place – Perfect.

I am sure he wanted to give Jesus a great impression of himself.

After all, Jesus knew where he was and more than that, Jesus knew WHO he was.


The thing to understand is that it is not us who called Jesus.  He called us first.

John 15:16 says “You didn't choose me, but I chose you…”

Ephesians 1:4 “Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence.”


He called us first.

On that cross, He called out your name.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”

All you have to do is to adhere to His call and come.


Zacchaeus was carrying a heavy load.

And all it took was to listen to Jesus’ call.


Zacchaeus come down…

I want to stay at your home.


Isaiah 49:16 “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, your name was engraved on His palms.

Engraving is permanent.

Your name was permanently on His palms.


That is how much He loves you this morning.

That is how much he cares for you.

He knows your name because He knows who you are.

He knows who you are because your name is engraved on His palm.

And He wants to come to your home this morning.


Won’t you consider letting Him into your heart?

Won’t you consider cleaning your house because He knows you?

The King of Kings, the most important person ever, knows you…



We have purpose.


Zacchaeus means Pure, Righteous.

But the people did not see him as pure or righteous.

However, Jesus saw the real Zacchaeus.

He knew who he was supposed to be.


Jesus doesn’t see who we are, He sees whom we are supposed to be.

Jesus sees the real you and me.

He sees our real name.


The world sees us as they want to see us.

They see us because of what we do, what we portray, and who we are.

They see only our number or title.

But Jesus sees who we are supposed to be.


He sees Zacchaeus as pure and righteous.

He sees potential.


You see everyone on earth was created with a purpose.

Romans 8:28-30 “28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

You are already called.

You were predestined.


The question is this:

Will you listen and take your calling with both hands?


Zacchaeus did.

When Jesus came to his house he had a change of heart because for the first time in his life somebody saw the real him.For the first time, someone ate with him not because of what he had, not because of his power or money, or status.

But because of who he was.

And at that moment the void in him was filled and he knew that he had a purpose.

He knew that he was worth something more than money.

And he repented and pledged to make things right.


Jesus is telling you this morning that He knows where you are at and He knows who you are.

He is telling you this morning that He knows the real you.

He knows the person you are supposed to be.

He tells you this morning that you have a purpose to fulfill.

He created you with a purpose.

And He has plans for you.


Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster plans to give you a future filled with hope.”Do you want a future filled with hope?

Then listen to His calling this morning.

He's calling your name.

Get out of that tree!

I want to come to your home.



9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;


His lineage did not bring salvation, but his faith, evidenced by his public confession and restitution, surely did!His repentance revealed his lineage, not the other way around.

Jesus sees him as a child of Abraham.

He sees him as an inheritor of the covenant.

He sees him as part of the family.


But people will not always look at you that way.

When you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your savior, then you reveal your family relationship.

When you take His name in Baptism, you take on that inherited name.

When His Spirit comes into your heart people can see you are part of the family.

Then you reveal who your family is and then Jesus confirms that you are part of the family of God.

And this has an impact on others as well.

When you come to repentance, you are immediately in a position to influence others in your circle.

When you are baptized others see the change in your life and they want that change as well.


You can influence your husband, your wife, your children, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your sister or brother, your friends, and your own family.

Your family relationship gives you that ability.

And that is real power and authority.

That is real riches.


When Jesus called Zacchaeus’ name He showed that He knew where he was,

He showed he knew who he was,

He showed that he had a purpose and…

He showed that he was part of the family.



This morning the call is going out.

Get out of that tree.

I want to come to your house.


He is calling you by name.

He knows where you are.

He knows where it hurts.

He knows what you are going through.

He knows what problems you have in your life.

He knows what struggles you are going through.

And He calls you.

He knows who you are.

People can tell you who they think you are.

The world can tell you who they think you are.

Your family and friends can tell you who they think you are.

Your partner can tell you who they think you are.

But it doesn’t matter at all.

All that matters is Jesus knows who you are.


By calling your name he reveals to us that He knows who we are.

The crowd thought they knew who Zacchaeus was.

They knew Zacchaeus the Tax collector.

But Jesus knew the real Zacchaeus.

He knew Zacchaeus the Pure.

He knew Zacchaeus the righteous.

And the moment Zacchaeus knew that it changed his life.


God knows the real you…

Do you.


Let Him reveal it to you this morning.

He shows that He has a purpose with you

God did not create you just for the sake of creating you.

He created you with a purpose.

He created you to do something for Him.

By calling your name He reveals to you that you are important to Him.

That He wants you to find that purpose and follow it.

It is that purpose that will give you blessings.


He shows that you are part of the family

God created you with the purpose of fellowship.

He wants a relationship with you.

He wants you to realize that you are part of the family.


Somewhere on your journey, you might have lost that sense of family.

But today Jesus is calling you.

He is calling you by name.


Won’t you listen this morning?

Close your eyes and hear Him calling your name.


Zacchaeus was happy to stay in his sinful life and to only catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passes by.

But Jesus is not satisfied with that.

He wants you to come down from your tree this morning and to accept Him into your home, into your life.

He wants to dine with you.

He wants to feed you and protect you.

But He can only do this if you listen to His call.

And he is calling your name.


You know why He is calling your name.

You know why the King of Kings is calling your name this morning.


He bottles our tears

He knows the number of hairs on our head

He writes down in a book of remembrance those that feared the Lord and thought upon his name


Even though God is all-powerful, all places and all-knowing—the greatest part of all, “He is never so big, to say we’re too small.” He knows my name.

And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. Exodus 33:17