My Grandmother kept a pocket-sized baby Jesus mounted to the dashboard of her car. Despite this talisman she maintained a high, reverent view of God.
I, on the other hand, catch myself relegating Jesus to a pocket-sized version in my own life.
Pocket Jesus receives my petitions in the same way a rabbit’s foot receives my wishes.
Pocket Jesus doesn’t knock on the door of my heart or shine the light of truth in the dark places where sin has hardened my heart.
Pocket Jesus enjoys the view from the dash and is content to be my copilot, leaving me firmly in the driver’s seat.
Fortunately, the one, true, living God is nowhere close to pocket-sized, and He rides shotgun to no one. The proof is in His name.
El Echad, The One, True God
A big part of the Old Testament involves God teaching (and then reminding) His chosen people who He is and what it means that He is completely other, holy, set apart from the manmade, pocket-sized gods they’re used to.
He [Man] takes a part of [a cedar] and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it.
One of my favorite moments in Chronicles of Narnia comes when the children ask Mr. Beaver if Aslan, the lion, is safe. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver…”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he is good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
2 Samuel 7:22
El HaGadol , Great God
Pocket Jesus pops up from a small, sinful and selfish view of God, one that perceives God as existing to serve my needs and evaluates His performance against my narrow, limited view of the world. God reminds us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8), expanding on this in explicit detail for Job–and for you and me–if we open our ears to hear and our eyes to see:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth…
Job 38: 4-13
This is the great I AM, the self-existent one. He imagined the universe and spoke it into being. It is mind-blowing in size and scope; casting earth as a mere speck of dust. In our lifetimes most of us are unlikely to see all of the lands on earth, let alone experience the 75 percent under water.
Our little blue marble is just a speck in the Milky Way galaxy and there are 100 billion other galaxies, many of which dwarf our own. Such vastness is beyond comprehension. The God who made it is bigger still.
Not only is the universe immense, it is old; an estimated 13.772 billion years. If we live to be 100, pretty old by mortal standards, our existence amounts to nothing more than a blink in time….not very significant. The God of creation is infinite; He was before the world began, is today and will be when the story concludes.
YHVH Yireh, God Who Sees
And yet…the Maker of this mind-blowing wonder, overflowing in creativity, diversity and perilous beauty, that God cares to know YOU by name.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8: 3-4
El Yeshuati, The God who Saves
And so it is from this perspective that we turn our eyes upon Jesus.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
So while we indeed have a friend in Jesus; He is not our peer. And while we are invited and encouraged to call on Him, we would do well to call Him by name.
Calling on Yeshua (Jesus) as Lord is the same as calling Him YHVH, because Yeshua (Jesus) is YHVH (LORD). (All About…The Names of God)
Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD (YHVH) will be saved.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.