IN HIS NEIGHBORHOOD John 10: 25-30

Jesus says that He knows us (John 10: 27).  He means it.  We’re aware that the word ‘know’, in the Biblical sense, can connote something different.  But here Jesus expresses that He understands us.  Who we are and what makes us tick.  ‘I know them…’

I love Jesus for knowing me inside and out.  My name and all about me.  From head to toe.  Beginning to end.  No one is like our Lord Jesus.

Someone comes close, even though he died over 15 years ago.  Who?  Fred Rogers of ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’.  A fellow Presbyterian minister whose sole service was caring about children through sensitive television programming.

It’s in the late ’70’s that I attend a 2-day pastor’s conference in New York City.  Hundreds attend.  Who do I spot sitting but a few rows away?  Right!  Fred Rogers… sitting in my neighborhood!

Can’t help myself.  Inch my way over to him, saying how much my boys, Jonathan and David, love his TV show.  A big smile greets me, wanting to know my name and where I serve the Lord.  Then I scoot back to my seat, relishing meeting this special TV personality.  Mr. Rogers–so gentle, warm and friendly.

The next day I’m standing in the hallway waiting for a friend to arrive when Fred Rogers comes right over to me saying, ‘Hi John.  How are you today?’  Could have bowled me over with a raisin!  He remembered MY name.  Me?  Little old me?

What a gift.  Caring enough to remember.  More than Mr. Rogers and his good neighborhood, Jesus knows all about us.  And loves us… forever.  Just as we are, but with enough love not to leave us that way.  Helps us get up.  Brushes off our skinned knees.  Applies a salve covered by a band-aide or two.  Comforts us… by name… as we become more and more like Him!

Thank you, Jesus, for knowing us.  In your name.  Amen.

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