In the 1st century world of Jesus and the Apostles, the title “Lord” was reserved for Caesar ALONE!
You dared not call another person “Lord” – not if you wanted a long life!
Imagine then, the impact on Roman society when the early Christians called their Saviour “Lord”. It was seen as nothing short of revolutionary – a dangerous challenge to the established order – no wonder Christians were persecuted.
Since it can be difficult for 21st century Westerners to imagine what the world of the early Christians was like, let’s begin by watching the following video. Allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Hebrew words of worship to your heart (don’t worry – it’s subtitled). As you watch the images of a life-size representation of the Tabernacle, ask him to fill you again. (“Adonai” is the Hebrew for “Lord”)
For fear of blasphemy, Jews, even today, do not utter the sacred name of God that we know as YAHWEH. When translating the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) into Greek, Jewish scholars replaced “Yahweh” with “kyrios”, which means “Lord” and is rendered as “Lord” (all capitals) in Christian Bibles. Hence, when Christians called Jesus, “Lord”, 1st century Jews took great offence – Jesus was Yahweh?!
Today, we don’t often think too much about saying “Jesus is Lord” – it’s just a phrase we use for our Saviour.
When we pause to reflect on what it really means, I believe it should have a profound impact on our view of the world.
Reading & Meditation
Read Colossians 1:15-20, (in the ESV if possible) and note how many times the phrase “all things” is used.
“Colossians 1:15 to 20 gives the church not merely an exalted view of Jesus, and hence of humanity, but of God and his world. God, man and the world are each now to be understood in relation to Jesus Christ.
- He makes the invisible God visible;
- He fulfils the Father’s reconciling purpose on the cross;
- He is the Father’s agent in creation and redemption.
- He is the truly human being, the true image of God.
- He is Lord of old and new creation, being in himself the beginning of the latter, the first created being to attain the state of perfection which will one-day be shared by all things in heaven and on earth.”
(Professor Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham)
I believe God wants to impress upon you just how majestic and marvellous King Jesus really is. He has been given all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18), and all things are in submission to him – whether they realise it or not – yes even our government.
He is fully in control of our lives and the events that surround us. He is working, together with us, to produce his good purposes for his kingdom (Rom. 8:28). Surrender to him!
Worshipful prayer time
Let the following video lead you into a time where you fully surrender everything to King Jesus: