Which kid’s names do teachers remember first and forever? The scallywags! Then it’s the exceptionally gifted ones, and finally the run-of-the mill, ordinary work-hard-but-don’t-get-noticed sort of kids.
The principle seems to work in the genealogy of Jesus too, in Matthew 1:1-16. Normally women would never get a mention at all, so it’s quite remarkable that four, prior to Mary, are referred to. Even more remarkable is that none of them were Jewish. Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife) would definitely class as scallywags, while Ruth was outstanding in kindness and faithfulness. The colourful stories of these women demonstrate how salvation is about forgiveness for sinners, through faith, and available to all. (Check out netbiblestudy for a great insight to how this works)
But what about the others? The other women who just got on with the job, worked hard, believed God, and did their best? What about the you’s and me’s who struggle with faith but keep going anyway, support God’s work to the best of our ability, live our fairly unremarkable lives to his glory the best we can? The kids in the classroom of Church whose names are barely remembered? Are we doomed to mediocrity? Does God even notice us?
Well he knows how many hairs you have on your head. He has counted them! (Luke 12:7) He knows everything about us, from our conception onwards. He is with us everywhere we go (Psalm 139), gives us strength when we feel weary (Isaiah 40:27-31) and delights over us (Zephaniah 3:17). Your name is carved in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16) so there is no way he’s going to forget you!
Then check out John 10:14. “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.” You know that intimate oneness between the Father and the Son? Well that’s how well he know you!
You may never have your name up in lights; you may never have had much notice at school; you may just seem to be just plodding in your faith, but if you know him and love him, your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life. And Jesus will be talking about you all over Heaven (Revelation 3:5).