What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘lord’? Often it has to do with something from the feudal system, and that is pretty much what the word means in the Bible. Master, owner and authority figure are pretty close synonyms. In the feudal system a lord protected, guided and cared for his people who, in turn, we loyal and obedient to him. That’s the way it is with us and Jesus today.
Lord often used as a title (name) of Jesus and is the second most common designation used for Him. It occurs 150 times in the Gospels, 100 more as ‘Lord Jesus,’ and over 500 times in the rest of the New Testament. Basically it refers to Jesus as Master, in effect as God who sovereignly rules over the affairs of men. Some times it is used of men who are in a position of authority (Genesis 24:12, 18, 21) but they, too, are under the authority of Jesus Who is ‘Lord of all lords’ (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).
Lord is often used in conjunction with another term to describe Jesus. Paul says He is “Lord of all” (Romans 10:12; Acts 10:36). Isaiah calls Him “Lord God” (Isaiah 40:10). Stephen referred to Him as “Lord Jesus” when he was dying (Acts 7:59). He is ‘Lord’ because He is Stephen’s Master, the one Stephen serves in life and as he is dying. ‘Jesus’ refers to the man from Nazareth who lived on this earth, died and came back to life. ‘Lord’ is mentioned first because Stephen lived after Jesus’ earthly life and Jesus is now proved to all as God and Lord. Conversely, the angels told shepherds that “Christ the Lord” was born (Luke 2:11) because His work as the Messiah who came to pay for sin was in focus. It was the “Lord,” God Himself, who would be the Messiah/Christ.
So now we have 3 names/titles: “Jesus” is His human name referring to Him as Savior, Deliverer (Matthew 1:21). It is the New Testament (Greek) equivalent of the Old Testament (Hebrew) name Joshua. “Christ” (“Messiah” in the Old Testament) refers to Him as the Anointed One, the Priest, Prophet and King who was to be both God and man. “Lord” refers to Him as our Master, Owner for Hi is deity. He is God (Lord) and man (Jesus) in one person (Christ). Just as blue (sky, death) and red (blood, humanity) mix to make purple (royal kingly color) so the Lord Jesus Christ is 100% God, 100% man and thus God and man in one.
Whenever you come across a combination of these names always note which comes first for that is what the author it emphasizing. “Lord Jesus Christ” for example emphasis His death and is commonly used in the Epistles (after His death and resurrection). “Jesus Christ the Lord” focuses on the man Jesus who came from Nazareth and who was God. This is more commonly used in the Gospels, before His death and resurrection. Whichever is first is emphasized. Every word in the Bible is inspired, even the order of the words. Nothing is insignificant.
How does this apply to you? Can you call Him “Jesus”? Is He your Savior and deliverer, the one who paid for your sins on the cross? Have you accepted this free gift by faith? Only a small portion of mankind can call Him “Jesus.” But only a minor portion of those who can call Him “Jesus” can then also call Him “Lord.” Calling Him “Lord” means recognizing He is your mater, your owner, the one with sovereign control over your life, the one you promise to obey and faithfully live for. Can you call Him “Lord”? Calling Him “Jesus” is of no cost to us, He paid the whole cost. But calling Him “Lord” is very costly to us for we commit to giving up everything for Him. What about you? Can you call Him “Jesus”? Can you call Him “Lord”?
Take a moment to pray and thank Him for His role as “Jesus” your savoir and deliverer. Then refer to Him as “Lord,” committing yourself to Him as your owner and master. Thank Him for His protection, guidance and care. Promise your loyalty and service to the one who is your Lord.
BIBLE STUDY ASSIGNMENT
Some times it is hard to tell which Person of the Trinity a name refers to. For example, In Revelation 19:6 the title “Lord God Omnipotent” is used. Does it refer to the Father or Son? The verse doesn’t make it clear, but the context does. Look at the verses before and after the verse in question to determine the context. This One is called “God” (verses 5 and 1). We read that He is seated on the throne (verse 4). Just whom does John picture on the throne in Revelation? Chapters 4 and 5 in Revelation have already detailed this scene. The One on the throne has a scroll that no one is able to open until the Lamb of God comes and stands before the throne to take and open this scroll (5:6-7). That is clearly a picture of Jesus (verse 12). So it must be the First Person of the Trinity on the throne, God the Father.
By knowing the context many of the questions you have asked can be answered and more insight gained into a passage. Let the Bible interpret itself in this way. Read Judges 6:22. Gideon says He is God. Look in the context, the verses before and after, and write down all the proofs you can find that this Angel of the Lord is God. Also write down questions you would like to ask the author of this passage.
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