Saturday, February 22, 2014

'Lord, Lord'

The Word for today:
Luke 8:40-56
We Christians use the word 'Lord' a lot. It's 'Lord' this and 'Lord' that. Jesus, for one, thought the word was misused and overused, and he said so:
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)
We use the term unthinkingly, as if it were a name. 'Lord' is not a name. It's a word that defines a certain relationship--a relationship that looks like this:
He's in charge, and I am not.
With that in mind, let's listen to Jesus' words once again:
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)
Luke has just marched us through a well-orchestrated section of scripture which serves to illustrate one big theme: Jesus is Lord.
He is Lord of the natural realm:
And they went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. (Luke 8:24)
He is Lord of the supernatural realm:
"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. (Luke 4:34-35)
He is Lord over sin and its effects:
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the man who was paralyzed--"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home." And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. (Luke 5:23-25)
He is Lord of life and death:
While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more." But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. (Luke 8:49-55)
May I make a modest proposal that, in a backward way, will actually do great honor to Jesus...
If Jesus is not in charge of our lives, then let's cut out the 'Lord, Lord' jive. Let's declare a moratorium on the word, and just call him Jesus for awhile. There's no lie in that.
A moratorium might serve to remind many of us that he is not the comprehensive Lord of our lives. And if the day should arrive when he becomes--in truth and in deed--the Sovereign King of our souls, then we'll hold a party, invite all our friends to the coronation, and crown him Lord of Lords.
Words, as used by Jesus, were raised to the level of binding contracts, even covenants:
"Let your yes be yes and your no be no."
May we do the same. Let's let our 'Lord' be Lord.

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