The disciples of Jesus called Him Lord. Even the people that He healed called Him Lord. We have an example in Matthew 8:1-3 “When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Why did they call Jesus Lord? In this context, what does the word Lord mean? The original Greek word translated as Lord means one who has power or authority. Jesus clearly demonstrated that He had power and authority. When He rebuked the evil spirits in a person, they obeyed Him and came out because He had authority over them. He demonstrated His power by the many miracles that He performed – healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, and walking on the water.
God has made Jesus Lord. Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” God has given Jesus power and authority. God wants us to confess that Jesus is Lord. Paul wrote about Jesus in Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” God wants everyone to bow their knee in submission to Jesus Christ and confess that He is Lord – the one who has the power and the authority.
Those who want to be saved need to confess that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:8-10 “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” What is this confession that is made unto salvation? Here it states to “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus.” Other good English translations perhaps clarify the meaning by translating the confession as “Jesus is Lord.” The confession is not merely an acknowledgement that one believes that God raised Jesus from the dead, but also an acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord, your Lord. That implies that you submit to Him because He has the power and the authority. You make Him the Lord in your life. You will follow Him and do as He teaches and directs you to do.
It is not simply a matter of saying “Lord, Lord.” Jesus stated in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Just because one says “Lord, Lord” to Jesus does not secure entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says that it requires doing “the will of My Father in heaven”. These who practiced lawlessness had not made Jesus their Lord. They had not submitted to Him and allowed Him to direct their lives. Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” The confession that Jesus is Lord needs to come from the heart and not just the lips.
Paul told King Agrippa what happened when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Acts 26:14-19 “And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Paul didn’t initially know who spoke to Him, but he knew that he must be Lord because Jesus demonstrated His power and authority. Paul submitted to the Lord and obeyed Jesus by dedicating his life to the Lord. In the same way, when we make Jesus our Lord, we submit to Him and dedicate our lives to doing what He wants us to do.
At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. John 13:12-17 “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’” Do we call ourselves Christians? Do we call Him Lord? If we do, we will follow His example and obey His teachings.
Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” All authority has been given to Jesus. He is Lord. The commission for us is to proclaim the gospel unto the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then these disciples will make Jesus their Lord also.
Is Jesus your Lord? I encourage you to confess from your heart that Jesus is Lord – your Lord.