By: Danny Wallace
There are names, titles, and references to Jesus that need a closer examination in terms of context before we embrace, or continue using them. One such reference, or title is, “Lord.”
The definition of Lord is; “One having power and authority over others: A ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due.”
Jesus is God. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Therefore, Jesus doesn’t just have power; He has “all” power. Being the Son, in text with God the Father, and God the Son, Jesus is certainly worthy of the title by hereditary right. And since preeminence suggests, “superiority,” Jesus is certainly superior in everyway to man, therefore, one would naturally assume that obedience and service are both required, and due in the presence of His Lordship.
This is where it gets unique, yet truly powerful, indeed. Being all of these things, Jesus did not suffer, bleed, and die because He was Lord – Jesus suffered, bled, and died because He was considered by religion to be nothing more than a lowly, and common, ”friend of sinners.”
Is Jesus stronger than us – does He have more power? Yes He does. Did He use any of that strength and power to set us right, or bring us into obedience, service, or compliance to His will? No, He did not. Quite to the contrary, Jesus became one of us so that He would know what the landscape of life looked like through our eyes. Jesus humbled Himself so that we could “lord” over Him and take His life.
In this regard, Jesus is truly Lord. I would compare it to “old money rich,” vs. “Nouveau-Riche,” better known as, “someone who is newly rich, loving to spend lavishly, so as to lord their wealth over others.”
Anyone who has met both, old money wealth, and the nouveau riche, will know the difference without need of definition, or further explanation. One “is,” while the other simply, “wants to be.”
And so it is with the reference, “Lord Jesus.” Just as it is with the church that has been built by man, and The Church that was long ago established by God’s own blood, so it is with the truth at the core of titles. Jesus didn’t use them and He encouraged us to shelve them, as well.
Religion’s titles either imply, or demand servitude to their Lord, while the name of Jesus, “Friend of Sinners,” is the epitome of sacrifice.While the Lord of religion demands servitude and obedience – in humility, Jesus relinquishes all titles in sacrifice for the freedom of all people.
Our Lord of Grace brings peace - He does not demand servitude. Nevertheless, the peace that He brings humbles our hearts in loving service to Him, and to all people. Our obedience is nothing more than a reflection of wanting to be just like our very best friend. It is an even deeper reflection of what anyone would offer when someone who is “absolutely innocent, “ chooses to be completely guilty so that we could be made right and set absolutely free of guilt.
We love, serve, and call Him, “Lord,” because Jesus first loved, served, and allowed us to “lord over” Him to the point of His death on our behalf. This is the unique, and powerful truth behind His royal title. This is the sole reason that “Jesus Is Lord."