Perhaps you are among those who have been watching The Chosen, a TV series which depicts the life and ministry of Jesus.  The final episode of Season 3 was made available for streaming on Tuesday of this week.  The last two episodes of the season were also screened together as a feature film in several local movie theaters late last week.  While creative license is used and liberties are taken in the development of the back stories of the apostles and other characters, it is very reasonably done within the historical setting of early first century Galilee and Judea and within the context of what is revealed in the Gospels.  In fact, it is so plausibly and effectively done that, when numerous details are introduced directly from Scripture and the verbatim teachings of Jesus are woven into the story, it takes place naturally and seamlessly.  The creators of the show obviously have a high view of Scripture, deep Christian faith, and a reverence for Jesus Christ as the Son of God. 

The first episode of Season 1 begins with a flashback in the life of Mary of Magdala.  As a little girl, Mary calls out in the night to her father who is sitting in the dark outside their tent.  Something has troubled her heart and frightened her, and her “abba” calms her spirit with the recitation of Scripture.  He invites her to “say the words” with him, the words of the prophet Isaiah (43:1), ”Thus says the LORD who created you, O Jacob, and he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name.  You are mine.”  Years later, Mary’s life was tormented and terrorized by seven demons who invaded and possessed her mind and body (see Luke 8:1-3).  In the episode, those around Mary as an adult only knew her by the name Lilith, not by the name given to her by her parents. 

The episode climaxes with Jesus casting the demons out of Mary, healing her and setting her free.  He had stopped her in her tracks by speaking her birth name to her.  “Mary!  Mary of Magdala,” he called out. “Thus says the Lord who created you, and he who formed you: Fear not, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name.  You are mine.“  The moment was powerful, and the emotions in the scene were intense, much like was undoubtedly the case when Mary was freed from her demonic domination and torment.  Redemption, restoration, relief, overwhelming gratitude, and tears of joy!

“Lazarus, come forth!”  “Zacchaeus, come down immediately, for I must stay at your house today.”  “Simon, I have something to say to you.”  “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things”  “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.” 

Truly, the Good Shepherd calls his own sheep by name (John 10:3), every single one of us, including you!   

Do you ever feel anonymous?  Are there times when it seems like you don’t matter; like no one notices you, or cares about you, or really truly knows you?  Take heart!!  Your life and your circumstances are constantly on the “Radar of all radars” and the mind of the Almighty.  Read Psalm 139 for further reassurance on this point. 

“Thus says the Lord who created you: (Insert your name here), do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; You are mine.”