“When I say the Greek word Jesus in all my Montanan English influenced vernacular and accent, everyone in heaven above, on the earth, and below the earth, knows who I am talking about. . .”
Several years ago Donna, my Father in Law Ralph, and I went elk hunting together. We spent the night at Donna’s folk’s farm house so we could leave the babies with Grandma as we left in the wee hours of the morning. We headed up to the Mill Creek drainage south of Livingston, the three of us sitting in the front and only seat in Ralph’s Chevy pickup with our tags in our pockets and our guns in the rack.
It was a day made in heaven. The ground was covered with fresh snow and the sun was shining. We headed into the back country on logging roads, hiked a few trails and before we knew it we had two elk down, a cow and a spike. With a little ingenuity on Ralph’s part, and a lot of rope, we had both of them loaded in the truck and ready to go home by midafternoon. It was indeed a blessed day.
After stopping for a bite in Livingston we’re headed home tired and a little sore but very content, Ralph is driving, Donna is sitting in the middle and I am riding shotgun, probably half asleep, when all of a sudden we are starting to slide sideways on an icy bridge. Ralph cranks the wheel and we start sliding the other way, and suddenly we are fishtailing down the Interstate doing 65 miles an hour or so. It all happened very quickly and I remember having three thoughts.
The first was, when Ralph cranked the wheel trying to correct the slide and sending us the other way was; “What are you doing!?” The second was, “No, we can’t wreck with elk in the back of the truck!” Apparently I was worried we would lose the elk. And then I had this picture in my mind of us overturned in the borrow pit beneath a pile of blue Chevy Pickup metal and Elk meat. Not a pretty picture. Which brought on the third thought; “It’s going to take a miracle to get us straightened out now.”
This was all in the few seconds it took to fishtail four or five times and I cried out, with my hands gripping the dashboard, a one word prayer, it was all I had time for, and I honestly don’t know if I said it out loud or if it was just in my mind but it was definitely fervent and heartfelt—that one word prayer was; “Jesus!”
And just as soon as that, suddenly the truck was headed straight down the road like nothing had ever happened. I looked at Donna who was wide eyed and white a as ghost, but okay, and then I looked at Ralph who had a white knuckle death grip on the steering wheel and his eyes glued to the road ahead like he was afraid if he looked away it would leave him again. I don’t remember much after that except a general relief and a feeling like we had just cheated death as we spent the rest of the trip unclenching our posterior muscles.
Donna and I talked about it later, both of us realizing that we had just experienced divine deliverance. I kept running through it in my head thinking, ‘well maybe we just hit a dry spot and got straightened out,’ but, I knew in my gut in the middle of that fishtail that we were beyond the point of recovery in that slide, and if we did suddenly hit a dry spot in the road it should have just sent us rolling.
It was an experience we never forgot and I know without a doubt that just the name Jesus! —uttered as a cry for deliverance when there was no time for any other words, was what saved us that day. No other words mattered and certainly no other name would have done the same.
“Jesus”, there is certainly power in the name.
I call him Lord
Jesus, I love the name, it brings to mind the one I love more than life itself because he loved me more than life itself—and gave me his. The more I know about him and the longer I walk with him the more I treasure the sound of the name.
I had someone ask me a couple years ago after hearing someone make a big issue about how we should be calling Jesus by his Hebrew given name; Yeshua, what I thought about that. I told her; “You know what? I was introduced to him as Jesus, I have called him that ever since, and he seems to be just fine with that.”
Seriously, I prayed to him by that name and in that name for salvation and I was saved. I asked for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in that name and I received it. I have been healed, and have prayed for others to be healed, in that name time and again the healing has come. I have squared off with and defeated the enemy in that name.
And I didn’t lose my elk, my wife and my life on an icy road near Livingston because of that name.
That name Jesus, in my mouth and in the mouth of all I know who have met the Nazarene has power beyond what we can even begin to grasp, if we just believe that power is there.
The power in the name, whatever name we use, is in the title that comes before it; whether we speak it all the time or not, as long as it is implied and accepted in its fullest sense of the word. That title is Lord. “Lord Jesus.”
Lord, that is the most important name and the one that puts the power in the name that we have come to know him by— whatever that name is in your tongue and culture— as long as it is signifying the Son of God who came to be born of a virgin from Nazareth and was crucified and raised bodily from the dead to return to the right hand of the Father.
So let’s not get hung up on the annunciation of the word, the power is in the person of the Son of God behind whatever pronunciation fits on our tongues. In fact, I like that we are commanded to be baptized in water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; no proper names there, yet there is no mistaking who we are referring to—there is certainly no confusion in heaven.
To me arguing about what name we should call Jesus is like arguing about whether your kids should call you Father, Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pop, Sir— whatever, who cares? As long as they are calling you something, acknowledging you, respectfully, lovingly and personally.
Sometime long ago my daughter Jessie started calling me “Sir Papio.” When she says that I know who she is talking to, and my other girls don’t get all huffy and say; “You can’t all him that, you have to call him Daddy.” Even that isn’t my name, my name is Dan, but it would be really weird if they called me that.
Even my wife Donna doesn’t call me that often, unless she’s really mad at me or needs my attention in a crowd. She calls me ‘Dearie’, and I answer, in fact I prefer her to call me that, Dan is for the rest of the world and when she is talking to the rest of the world about me she then calls me Dan because then they know who she is talking about.
Many at work call me Swany, and the same person who is called all those other things comes to mind when they do. You get my point here? It’s not the accuracy of the name—unless your filing your taxes— it is the person who comes to mind when the name is spoken. And the one who answers to the name being called out.
When I say the Greek word Jesus in all my Montanan English influenced vernacular and accent, everyone in heaven above, on the earth, and below the earth, knows who I am talking about and with that name comes the full power and backing of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.