And His Name Shall Be Called: The Lord
Tuesday December 17, 2019
The Gospel according to Luke reads: “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (2:8-14)
The word Lord appears 696 times in the New Testament, and almost always it refers to Jesus Christ. It is not exactly a name, but a title. Lord in the Greek is “kurios”, and has a range of meanings.
“Kurios” is used as the normal and respectful way to address a man – that is, the common “sir” in English.
“Kurios” is a word used to describe absolute and total ownership. In ancient times, a man who owned a house, a piece of land, some animals or a slave was a lord. When the angels announced to the shepherds that a Saviour had been born in the town of Bethlehem, they called Him “Kurios”, or Christ the Lord – because they were proclaiming the new-born child Jesus as absolute owner of all things. We do not belong to ourselves – we belong to Christ the Lord, because only He is our proprietor and our owner. Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”
“Kurios” is also a designation of sovereignty and authority. In biblical times, it was the title of distinction between a master and his slave. The master had all power and complete control over his slave – he could buy him and order him around and sell him as he pleased. The master issued commands – and the slave obeyed. When the angels announced to the shepherds that a Saviour had been born in the town of Bethlehem, they called Him “Kurios”, or Christ the Lord – because they knew and they understood that this child was born with the rule and the dominion of the entire universe on His shoulders. Christ the Lord issues the commands – and we, His servants, ought to respond in obedience. Christ is our master and our Lord – and we ought to surrender ourselves to Him in all humility and submission. He wants to rule our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, our attitudes and our schedules. Not aggressively or with hostility, but with wisdom and love. He wants us all, like Mary, to learn to say: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) Or that we would say, like the disciple Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”
C.T. Studd, missionary to China and India and Africa during the 19th and 20th centuries, said it this way: “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
May we all, like C.T. Studd, be willing to sacrifice everything for Christ the Lord, because He already sacrificed everything for us.
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