Advent Flow #17 - NAME OF GOD: Lord
“You call me ‘Teacher' and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.”
– John 13:13 NIV
NAME OF GOD: Lord
by Joe Emmi
In the New Testament we find Jesus addressed or referred to as Lord many times. The Greek word for Lord is "Kurios". It carries the meaning of supreme authority. It is sometimes translated as "sir" or "master", and in one place "God", but usually as “Lord". At the time of the early English translations of the bible, "Lord" was a term of respect for someone in a higher position, usually a member of the nobility, a higher social class. Even today In England, they still have people who are called "lords" and "ladies" because they have been given or inherited a title.
What is interesting about Jesus' case is that people often referred to him as Lord, even while he was under cover, so to speak. As we celebrate his birth we are reminded that he was born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough. As Isaiah declares, “He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” (Is. 53:20). He was a simple craftsman from an ordinary family from a despised village. When Nathaniel first heard of Jesus, his reaction was, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
However, in Jesus we meet a human who truly is in a higher class. He is Lord, not by title, but by his very nature. Because he is both divine and human, he is in a category above all others. When he walked this earth everyone could sense that Jesus spoke and acted with authority, even his enemies. The people marveled that he taught with authority, the rulers questioned by what authority he cleared the temple, his disciples wondered at his authority over the wind and waves of the sea. However, Jesus' authority and power emanated from his being and not from a title he carried or something external. That tripped many people up. The folks from his village thought , “isn't he just one of us, didn't he grow up here, don't we know his whole family?” Yes, he was by all appearances just one of us, and he was rejected by many. And yet, people who had an honest heart, knew they were in the presence of someone who was different and somehow greater than themselves in spite of appearing as a very ordinary man. They could not help but recognize his nobility, his authority, even though they did not yet know he was in fact God incarnate. So, they called him Lord.
At the same time, Jesus' nobility was so different from any other. You could get close and be perfectly safe in his presence. He came not to "Lord it over" others like earthly rulers (Luke 22:25). He taught that the first should be the last and that the greatest was the one who served everyone else. He had time for children, for the broken, for the outcast. He humbly stooped to wash his own disciples’ feet in our passage from John 13. Even though he was rightly called “Lord", yet he came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life for us all. He died the death of a condemned criminal in our place, not willing to say a word or call on his angel army to defend himself, because he wanted to save the people who were his rightful subjects. Even after his resurrection, we find him cooking breakfast on the beach for his disciples. The world had never seen a Lord like that. Yet, that is what true nobility is all about...
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11)
How do I see the nobility of Jesus in the gospels?
Does the humility and gentleness of Christ diminish or enhance his Lordship?
Have I ever seen the nobility of Christ reflected in a brother or sister? How so?
What is the path to glory that Jesus modeled?
If the Lord Jesus lives in me, what might I expect his Spirit to lead me to do or be?
How might my amazing Lord Jesus be asking me to follow his example today?