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He Knows Our Names

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Mary (Magdalene) was standing outside the tomb crying …

She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.  “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

“Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

– John 20:11, 14-17

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Jesus first appeared after His resurrection to a woman, Mary Magdalene. But Mary did not quite recognize the Lord who just days before she saw beaten, bloodied, dead.

Observe how Jesus let Mary know who He was. It’s so personal. So intimate.

He called her by name!

Names were so important in the Jewish culture. Jesus changed people’s names when He changed their identities. If someone knew your name, they knew you.

And Jesus knew Mary.

His voice alone wasn’t enough for her to identify Him. But when He called her by name, when He revealed that He knew her … that was enough.

Mary immediately knew it was Jesus and that He was alive!

What a moment for celebration! In her excitement, she clung to Him.

Jesus encourages Mary to let go and to share the wonderful news that she alone knew. Not the apostles. Not the men. Mary.

Mary was to tell the men it was time to celebrate!

Yes, Jesus knew Mary. And Jesus knows us, too. He knows our names. He knows exactly how to reveal Himself to us. And that’s something we can celebrate! That Jesus knows us. That Jesus lived a perfect life in our place, died a horrible death in our place, and rose from the dead – so that we could know Him, too.

We can help women know God. We can help them celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We can tell the story about the God of the Universe so these women can celebrate that Jesus knows their names as well.

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Related Scriptures: John 1:42, Genesis 17:5


  1. How does knowing God loves us so intimately that He calls us by name help you tell others about Jesus?
  2. If God were to have given you a new name when you started your faith journey with Him, what would it be?
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