Jesus Is Lord
We will say that Jesus is a great moral teacher, a philosopher, prophet, a wise person, and even savior, but many of us refuse to call Jesus Lord and to respond to him as such. I have been guilty of such ignorance. I once claimed that Jesus is good that I love him, but he is not God just a great guy. I was wrong. I didn’t have to risk anything by claiming Jesus as a cool dude, but once I claimed Jesus as Lord and Savior was to risk being called a fool. Yet, Jesus is way too compelling and I see it too costly not to claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. To deny or ignore the Lordship of Jesus is to deny who Jesus really is. Jesus is Lord and Savior of all, saying that means if we are to be serious about our Christianity we need to live our lives more and more aligned to the teachings, life death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Some Christians are so against certain things like same-sex marriage, immigration among other things that they can and do forget that Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22)” And “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6)”
These are hard words. Few take these words serious, as they should. Christians are far often known for being judgmental and self-righteous prigs, not nearly enough as loving inclusive people. Jesus did not grab a megaphone and scream at people that they were going to hell. No. He went to the people and preached the good news. He loved, lived, and laughed with sinners. He saved his most scathing words for the religious elite. Something needs to be changed and one of those things is taking Jesus as Lord as well as Savior. Jesus is control. We are not. There’s no way out of this if you are to be a true Christian. Jesus is the master of the universe and the good news is He loves and accepts us as we are, but loves us way too much to keep us that way.
Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be God. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet, Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God in the flesh.
C.S. Lewis said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. This man either was, or is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
So, each of us has choice to make and that choice is Jesus who he said he was and acted as in history. Either Jesus is the son of God and the Lord and Savior of all or he is nothing. History declares that Jesus is exactly Lord and Savior of all. You cannot have it both ways. Either Jesus is in control and we are to pattern our life on his teachings and life or we are in control and it doesn’t matter what the Gospels say Jesus said. Make your choice. I have made mine. I am not perfect at following Jesus and I need to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus.
J.B. Phillips, in Your God Is Too small, wrote, “God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man–suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal’s death–and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched.”
Jesus teaches us how to live; He died for our sins to make us right with God. We can and should offer our lives as worship to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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