He Knows You by Name
Jesus knows your name -- 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
An Elmo doll (or print out the Elmo page below and color Elmo red)
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." John 1:48 (NIV) (Also, Psalms 139:1-4)
Who can tell me who this is? (hold up Elmo doll or picture) Right! This is Elmo. Even though some of you are too "grown up" for Elmo, you still know his name, but does Elmo know your name? Yes! I saw a "He Knows Your Name Elmo" doll at the toy store that can be programmed to say your name. When you squeeze Elmo's hand, he will say things like:
Elmo loves you [child’s name]
Elmo thinks you’re great!
Elmo thinks you’re terrific!
Elmo thinks you’re the best!
Elmo thinks you’re super!
[child’s name], Elmo thinks...you’re...special!
How about that! Elmo knows your name and he thinks you're special!
Today, I want to tell you something even more amazing than that. The Bible tells us about a man named Philip who took his friend Nathanael to see Jesus. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said, "Here comes an honest man -- a true son of Israel."
When Nathanael heard what Jesus said, he asked him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered, "I could see you sitting under the fig tree before Phillip even found you."
Now, that is pretty amazing, but that isn't all. The Bible tells us that God knows everything about you. He knows when you sit down... and he knows when you stand up... he knows what you are thinking... and he knows what you are going to say before you even say it...and he guides you with his hand.
Elmo doesn't really know your name. He has to be programmed to say your name. But God knows your name and he thinks you're special. How do I know he thinks you're special? I know because he sent Jesus, his only Son, to die on the cross so that you could have everlasting life in Heaven with him.
Here is a little poem that will help us to remember that God knows our name.
If you think that God doesn't hear you,
then that is really a shame.
Not only does He hear you,
but He knows you by your name.
Dear Father, we are thankful that you know us by name and that you thought we were so special that you gave us your Son so we could have everlasting life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.