pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Lord

Reading: Matthew 22: 41-46

Verse 42: What do you think about the Christ?  Whose son is he?

Questions about who Jesus is were a hot topic in Jesus’ day, especially amongst the religious leaders.  For a group who leads a people who have been looking for a Messiah for generations, they sure are pretty reluctant to see Jesus as the Messiah.  There were two main barriers that kept them from recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.  First, He did not match their expectations.  They were looking for a king like David, one who would defeat the Romans and re-establish Israel’s greatness.  Second, the idea of a Messiah coming was great in theory but hard to take in practice.  They would not be in control.  They would be less.  They liked being in power.

The religious leaders ask Jesus, “What do you think about the Christ?  Whose son is he”?  Jesus’ response is not directly about himself but it does silence the Pharisees.  They believe the Messiah will come through David.  But Jesus quotes from Psalm 110, showing how David calls the Messiah “Lord”, proving it cannot be David’s son.  They dared not ask Him any more questions and began to look for a way to kill Jesus.

Today people continue to ask who Jesus is.  Some are looking for a Jesus who will save them or who will bring freedom or relief from their current life.  But the radical change from the inside out is tough to take.  They struggle with giving up that secret sin or two and can’t quite call Jesus “Lord”.  Others are like the Pharisees.  They can see Jesus’ power, but can’t quite bow to Jesus as the new Lord of their lives.  They like calling the shots, being in control, having the power.  Jesus requires us to become 3rd at best.  We must be willing to place Jesus on the throne of our heart and then to love others more than ourselves.  Jesus demands all of us.  We cannot keep a few hidden parts or compartmentalize Jesus into just some parts of our lives.  It is a total commitment.  But it is also a process, a journey.  Daily we must ask: what more can I give?  What must I surrender to become less as Jesus becomes more?

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Lord of All

In the book of Mark, Jesus is most often referred to as “teacher.”  Mark used “Messiah” once and “Son of Man” a couple of times.  In encounters with demons, Mark tells us they called Jesus “the Holy One of God.”

Jesus adds a new name himself when he tells the two disciples to go and retrieve the colt.  He instructs any who ask to tell them, “The Lord needs it.”  In the language of the day this term was reserved for royalty and divinity.  As in Caesar and God.  As His final week drew near, Jesus was adding a new and important definition to who He is: divine presence.  In several places Jesus uses the term “Lord” to refer to God.  Now He is applying it to himself.

This claim implies more for His followers.  It draws a new level of commitment and attachment.  Believing in Jesus as a good teacher was easy.  All who heard Him speak were amazed and He seemed to draw knowledge from a higher source.  And the healings!  These pointed to something special about this Jesus.

When we claim Jesus as Lord there is something more to it than there was before.  But to simply call Jesus ‘Lord’ feels incomplete.  It really needs to be “Lord of my life.”  As in all of me.  As in over all of my life.  It is not a partial commitment.  Jesus did not go half way to the cross.  Nor does He expect us to go half way in following Him.  To call Jesus “Lord” offers our total being to Him.  What do you call Jesus?

Scripture reference: Mark 11: 1-3