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Why do we call Jesus 'Lord'?
- Jacob Ninan
Many times we use familiar language without realising what we mean. We call Jesus 'Lord' and refer to Him like that as if that is just His name. Jesus once asked the people, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Lk.6:46). He went on to tell the story of one who built his house on the rock and the other who built on the sand, and explained that building on the rock meant hearing Him and then doing what He said, and building on the sand meant just hearing and not doing what He said (vv.47-49). So it is meaningless for us to call Him 'Lord' if we aren't doing, or even planning to do, what He says.
This can be a common problem for those who have grown up with the Gospel, who have always believed what Jesus said, and therefore consider themselves to be believers. They may have never come to crossroads in their lives where they had to choose between Jesus and something else they wanted or give up anything for Jesus' sake. They have assumed they have 'faith' even though it has not been tested and shown to be genuine (1Pe.1:7). Many others who have only heard the good times gospel and accepted Jesus as one who would take care of all their needs, without seeing themselves as sinners, repenting and going to the Saviour, may also have never thought much of Jesus as Lord of their lives.
But Jesus is Lord, and not just a lord but the Lord of lords and the King of kings (Rev.19:16). He is the one who created the whole universe, and nothing was made without Him (Jn.1:3;Col.1:16). One day everyone is going to have to acknowledge Him as Lord and bow before Him (Php.2:10,11). One day everyone has to stand before His judgment and give an account for even every word (2Co.5:10;Mt.12:36). Jesus is not the goody-goody genie who has to come running when we call, or the indulgent benefactor who never asks any questions. We ought to stand before Him in awe and respect.
While we honour and respect Him as our Lord and Master, we don't have to live in fear of judgment, because our sins have been already dealt with on the cross. We have boldness to enter into the most holy place with the blood of Jesus (He.10:19) and have fellowship with the Most High as our Father.
The Gospel has two sides. From God's side it is a great expression of love and undeserved mercy to sinners. From our side it is an access by grace to the almighty and exalted God who is to be loved, honoured and obeyed. We cannot have this access without acknowledging how far above us He is, how undeserving we are, and how we ought to tremble before Him and yet exult in His mercy and grace.
Let us make this clear choice now. If we want Jesus as our Saviour we must also recognise His lordship over us. Otherwise we don't even recognise Jesus for who He is, and all our so-called faith is hollow.
On the other hand, why don't we yield ourselves completely to Him and submit ourselves to His lordship? Then we can truly enjoy the blessings of His love, wisdom and power that He has for those who believe and obey.