“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3b
This really is an incredible thing. It is not incredible that your parents or siblings know your name. It is not surprising that your friends and coworkers know your name. But the God who is greater than the universe itself and holds all past, present, and future knowledge in his mind at the same time? It is amazing that he knows your name.
And it is far more than having a dictionary of everyone’s name that he can look up when he needs to. Your name is on his mind; it is on his lips. He knows it and speaks it. Part of the power in the image of John 10 – the Shepherd and his sheep – is that he speaks our names, and we recognize his voice. It is part of the relationship of following and leading.
His knowledge of your name reveals his ownership and care for you. He guards what is in the sheepfold (10:1-2). He leads us and we find the peace and security of his pasture (10:9). He even lays down his life for the lives of his people (10:11).
His knowledge of your name is intimacy. The IRS knows your name, but it is nothing more than a number in an electronic file. In fact, it may not always be a good thing that they know your name. It is possible that the boss three levels above you knows your name, but that that is just a scribbling on a flow-chart. An old friend knows your name, but your name is meaningful in the past. A close friend knows it, too, and that is more meaningful. For a friend to know your name is for them to know something about you. Your spouse knows your name, and your name means even more to them. The closer the relationship, the more your name means.
God is closer to you than any human relationship. Your name means more to him than you can ever imagine.
God calls your name. Listen to his voice and follow his lead. There, in the pasture of your Savior will you find what you need.