Calling Your Name

Turn to Jesus. He's waiting there, just outside the grave – He's alive today and He wants to call your name and reveal Himself to you

Scripture: John 20:1-3


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright today? I trust so. Bless your heart. Nice to be back with you.

And we’re looking at the Gospel of John. We’re into verse 1 and 2 and 3 of Chapter 20. I’d like to do a little detour here, if you don’t mind. John tells what happened to Mary Magdalene and it’s very important that the story be told. But you know, if you’ve read the four Gospels, that they don’t repeat everything word for word, but they tell the blessed story of Christ’s ministry, His death, and resurrection from different points of view.

Matthew presents Christ as the King, Luke as the Son of Man, Mark as the Servant, John as the Son of God. And each one then has his own emphasis and his own point of view, but all of it is true. Blessedly, wonderfully, infallibly, inerrantly true because the Holy Spirit of God indicted it. “Holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” says Peter. And so no Scripture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. That word inspiration means God breathed. All Scripture is God breathed and is profitable for reproof or instruction, for correction.Instruction in righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.

Well, that is the background of what I’m going to say. John, in his Gospel, tells about Mary Magdalene. The other Gospels mention other of the women who were there early at the sepulcher. One of whom was Joanna. Now, in the account that speaks about Joanna, it doesn’t say who she was. You have to look that up elsewhere and you’ll find in Luke 8. “Certain women, which have been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary, called Magdalene, out of whom went seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward and Suzanna and many others.”

Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward. She was the wife of a person who was pretty high placed in government circles. Wasn’t she? And it said they ministered to our Lord out of their substance. That is to say they helped to support Him and the disciples in the itinerant ministry they carried on for three years. She was one of those who came then early to the tomb and discovered that the Lord Jesus Christ had indeed risen. And I began to think, what did it mean to her? Highly placed as she was, to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, that then brings us to our own situation today. What does it mean to you?

Let’s suppose your wife or husband has a position of prominence and is not a Christian, but you are a believer and you want to live for your Lord. What ought you to do about it? I thought maybe I should take off a few thoughts that come to me along this line while we’re just visiting together here about this. Number one, don’t flaunt your belief in a way that will aggravate everybody. “Let your light so shine.” A light doesn’t make any noise. It does make a difference. “And the shining of God’s light,” Jesus said, “is evidenced in good works.” “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, Which is in Heaven.”

Paul the Apostle says, “We are God’s masterpiece. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Which God hath before ordained that we should live every day in them.” So let your light shine. Don’t flaunt your belief in a way to aggravate people and turn them off. Just live your life for the Lord Jesus Christ, making sure that you are true and that your testimony, therefore, is credible. A shining life that’s true to Jesus makes the testimony, when it’s spoken, credible in the estimation of those who hear you.

What else? Pray earnestly for your spouse, if he or she is unsaved. God answers prayer and you and I, I guess, most of you have heard of cases, I’ve lived long enough to know of many of them, where someone had prayed for an unsaved spouse for years and then the Lord gloriously wrought that victory.

I can remember back in the 1950’s, crossing the ocean in the company of a dear man who was converted to Christ in, I think it would have been 1955. Out of show business. He had sung for numbers of people on Broadway, had a gorgeous voice, great big bass voice, and a spirit to match it. Fine person and he was very special to me. I just appreciated him so much.

Well, we were on our way back from a conference and I had opportunity to speak with his wife who had accompanied him, but who was not a believer. And she gave me, not a bad time but she let me know that she really wasn’t open to my gentle probing’s concerning her relationship with the Lord. And so the years went by. Well I suppose 10 or 15 of them went by.

And then one day I ran across my old friend once again and he said, “Oh, I want to tell you the good news. My wife was saved at such and such a time.” Well, that’s wonderful. For all those years he’d prayed. And then God gloriously brought her to Himself. So, if you are a believer and your wife or husband is not saved, even though they’re highly placed in some position of responsibility, you let your light shine, you live for Jesus, you pray earnestly, and trust God to bring them to Himself. God does answer prayer.
Then the third thing that occurs to me is, don’t hesitate to do something for Jesus, when you get a chance. Joanna’s connection with Herod’s government through her husband’s stewardship is a very important job. He had control of the money, he was the controller, and we would say today. Joanna’s connection with the government, by way of her husband’s position, did not deter her from being at the Cross and from ministering to the Lord Jesus during the three years of His ministry or indeed coming early that morning to the sepulcher. Don’t let anything stop you from doing things for Jesus. Let your light continue to shine your life continue to count for the Lord, knowing that He indeed will see you through.

Well, that was a detour, but I thought maybe it might be helpful to somebody. Now, look at the 20th Chapter. It says Mary ran and came to Simon Peter and to John and said, “They’ve taken the Lord away, out of the sepulcher, and we don’t know where they’ve laid Him.” Peter, therefore, went forth and John had came to the sepulcher, so they ran both together. And the other disciple, that’s John, did out ran Peter.” Peter was evidently older and maybe a little heavier, who knows. And came first to the sepulcher and he, stooping down looking in, saw the linen clothes lying, yet went he not in. Then, came Simon Peter and went into the sepulcher. It’s just like him, isn’t it?

He never hesitated. Saw the linen clothes lie and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then John also went in and he saw and believed, for as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

See, our Lord Jesus had been trying to tell them all this time that this was what would happen, but it just never dawned on them. Now they began to believe that the Lord Jesus had indeed risen from the dead as He said He would. Interesting little insight here, saw the linen clothes lying and the napkin that was around His head not lying with the linen clothes. See, it was a collapsed chrysalis. A collapsed cocoon if you will. Our Lord Jesus simply stepped out of those grave clothes. And he didn’t have to unwind Himself in other words, because now He had a body adapted to glory. Later on, when the disciples were gathered, you read the story in John 21, or the last part of this 20th Chapter, I guess it is. When they were gathered together with everything shut and closed and barred and shuttered, here immediately came the Lord Jesus.

He didn’t have to knock and say, “Open the door.” There He was. He came and stood in the midst and said “Peace be unto you.” So, it was a collapsed chrysalis and John and Peter had to know that nobody had stolen that body because they couldn’t have stolen it without unwinding it. Our Lord Jesus just stepped out of those windings, those grave clothes and went on to present Himself to the disciples and to others as the risen, soon to be ascended Christ of God; tremendous.

Well, then the disciples went away to their own home, but Mary stood outside weeping. It wasn’t enough for her to look and see that heart of love had been broken at the death of her Savior. And she just was crying about it. But as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher and saw two angels in white, sitting one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” And she said, “Because they’ve taken away my Lord and I know not where they’ve laid Him.” And when she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing and knew not that it was Jesus.

So He said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She supposed Him to be the gardener. And she said, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him and I will take Him away.” The tremendous strength of love for the Lord shows up there. How could she, with her slight build, pick up a grown man’s body and carry it away? “I will take Him away.” And the Lord Jesus said unto her, “Mary.” She turned herself and said to Him, “Rabboní,” which is to say my master.

Well, let me chat with you about these things for a minute. Time is going and we can’t spend too much more time together on this day. Somebody who loves Jesus has been terribly down about the things that have happened to you. And you may be standing outside, in a way of speaking, outside the sepulcher crying. And everything hurts so much. And everything seems painted in shades of blue and black. And your heart has been broken by life or by people, or both.

I want to tell you something, if you just look up and call the name of your blessed Lord, you’ll hear Him calling your name, “Mary, Tom, Hazel, Sue, Richard.” He knows your name, fear not, He said, “I have called thee by name, thou art Mine.” He knows your name. He knows you; all about you. “There’s not a word in my tongue,” said the Psalmist, “But oh Lord, Thou knowest it all together.” Somebody hurting so bad today, turn to the Savior. He’s waiting there, just outside the grave, He’s alive today and He wants to call your name and reveal Himself to you as the living, victorious Savior, so that in Him, you too, may have victory.

Father God today, oh may we turn and see by faith the blessed Savior Who calls us by name. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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