Jean Valjean or 24601?
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Before his role of Monsieur Le Mayor, the main character had two identities:
He was born and lived as Jean Valjean, until that fateful day. His sister's child was starving. Times were tough. Valjean broke into a house to find food. When convicted of the crime, he became just a number: 24601. Impersonal. Branded forever..
Javert saw Valjean as convict number 24601. Once a slave of the law, always a slave of the law. He relentlessly pursued Valjean . . . For stealing a loaf of bread. But, when Javert began to see mercy portrayed over and over in Valjean's life, Javert, towards the end, called him Jean Valjean. A man, not a number. Capable of doing good. Someone with a soul. Someone with feelings. But, by then it was too late. . . For Javert.
Interestingly, twice Valjean questions who he is. Both times, he is confessing. Once to the court in order to free the man wrongly accused of Valjean's crime, and the other when he reveals his true identity to Marius before his marriage to Cosette.
God saw this man as Jean Valjean. Fully forgiven for his crime. The convict had repented. . . he wanted to begin again. The old 24601 had vanished, and Jean Valjean, child of God, emerged.