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Kyrios — Lord

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2022 14 Jun

Christianity’s earliest confession of faith consisted of three short but incredibly powerful words: Jesus is Lord! The early Christians believed that the Father had placed Jesus, by virtue of his death and resurrection, at the apex of time and eternity—higher than any power or person in the universe. Both those who love him and those who oppose him will one day call Jesus “Lord.” In the end, even the devil will be forced to acknowledge him.

The Greek word Kyrios is used in the New Testament to refer to an owner, emperor, king, father, husband, or master. It can also translate three Hebrew names and titles of God: Yahweh, Adonai, and Elohim. When people addressed Jesus as Kyrios or “Lord” in the Gospels, they were often simply showing respect to him as a rabbi or teacher, addressing him as “sir” rather than acknowledging him as God. But after his death and resurrection, the title “Lord” began to be
widely used by believers.

Over time, the title “Lord” began to take on the characteristics of a name. As such, it clearly identifies Jesus with Yahweh, the covenant name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Of the 717 passages in which Kyrios occurs in the New Testament, the majority are found in Luke’s Gospel, the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul’s writings.

Praying to the Lord

“Mom, you know that part in the Bible that says that you don’t really love God if you don’t love your brother. Does that mean I have to love Luci?” I could see the wheels turning in my daughter’s head as she considered the odious implications. She might actually need to change the way she treated her younger sister. But how could she, she wondered out loud, while listing a few of her sister's imperfections. That, of course, led to a discussion about “removing the plank from your own eye first.”

Katie’s response to the clear command of Scripture reminds me of my own more times than I like to admit. Jesus tells me something hard, something I don’t want to do. Then I respond with one of the most creative and persuasive words in the English language. You’ve probably used this word yourself, many times. It’s such a handy reply, allowing us to introduce the most creative and persuasive (at least to us) arguments for not doing what the Lord tells us to do. What is the word
I’m talking about? "But." That’s it, a little three letter word capable of packing a powerful punch, convincing us of anything we want to believe.

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
I would, Lord, but you don’t know my boss. He’s out to get me. How can I love someone who’s trying to destroy me?

“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
But, Lord, you can’t expect me to forgive someone who doesn’t even want to be forgiven for all the rotten things they’ve done to me.

“Stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear.”
Lord, you know what’s happened to my retirement fund this year. I don’t want to worry, but I really can’t help it.

"Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it."
But, Lord, you don’t know what it’s like to live with that woman!

Jesus never said it would be easy. What he did say was that was that those who have him as their Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Knowing Jesus as Lord will lead you to a deeper experience of his presence and his power.