A Different Sort of Lord

When Luke described Jesus as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and also “Prince of Peace”, he borrowed the phrase. He took an existing title and applied it in an entirely new and different way.

The title was used by the reigning head of state, the emperor of Rome, Augustus.

But early Christians took the bold step of saying there exists a Lord (the person who decides for us, the Master in a relationship) above the lords of the secular state. The Jews asked for dispensation from certain Roman worship rules based upon ethnic identity. Early Christians asked for the same dispensation, but not by ethnic identity but by a common community based upon faith in God and the resurrection of Jesus.

We are in danger of reading the New Testament overlooking the immense power of Rome and how Jesus turned everything Rome stood for on its head.

We forget at our own peril that Jesus was a different sort of lord. A different sort of ruler. Not one who demanded “lip service.” After all, he said, “Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my Father.” No, he wants your heart to be changed.

Jesus said his kingdom was a different kind of kingdom and he was a different kind of Lord. If we live there, then we’ll live a different sort of life. We will spread peace and justice wherever we go rather than discord and divisiveness.

Jesus turned Rome on its head. It’s not all about power; it’s all about love.

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