That the two words “popped” wasn’t just my imagination this morning. That such a very common phrase jumped off the page demanded some attention, some follow up. Exactly why, I’m not sure. But chew on the words I must. Chew on them I did. And I think, at least in part, just for the purpose of simply asking the question, “When did He become the Lord?”
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.
(Luke 10:1 EV)
The Lord. Those are the words that popped. And the thought comes to mind, when did Luke start referring to Jesus as the Lord? I haven’t noticed it before. Is this the first time? Nope. But it is only the third time so far in this “orderly account” (Lk. 1:3) written by the meticulous Doctor Luke.
It’s not the third time the phrase is found in Luke’s gospel, not at all. You find “the Lord” frequently in Luke 1 and 2 and the narrative concerning the birth of a child in Bethlehem to a virgin of Nazareth. Angels of the Lord appear on a number of occasions. The Lord is praised and magnified for the Christ to come.
And then, in the desert, when tempted by Satan, the man Jesus stands firm when He tells the devil to get behind Him, “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve'” (Lk. 4:8).
Later, Jesus reads from the scroll to inaugurate His public ministry and asserts, “The Spirit of the Lord” is upon Me (Lk. 4:18). The truth of which is evidenced later as He punctuates His proclamation of the kingdom with signs and wonders as “the power of the Lord was with Him to heal” (5:18).
But I read Luke 10 this morning and I notice that Luke refers to Jesus Himself as the Lord. And I think to myself, “Self, is this the first time Luke does this?” Short answer, no.
First time, it looks like, is back in Nain when Jesus comes across a funeral procession of a young man, the only son of a grieving widow. And Luke records, “And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her” (Lk. 7:13). The next time is when Luke tells us about John the Baptist who, from prison, sends two of his disciples to “the Lord, saying, ‘Are You the one who is to come?” (Lk. 7:19).
The shift has been subtle. Though it was clear from the beginning, that the babe born in the city of David, come to save His people, was “Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11), up to this point He has mostly been referred to as Jesus or, simply, He. But beginning in chapter 7, and now in chapter 10, Luke starts to refer to Jesus functionally as the Lord. And, it seems, referring to Jesus as the Lord will only increase as Luke continues to chronicle His life, death, and resurrection.
Maybe just some fun facts. But more than Bible trivia. Because the question is an important question. “When did He become the Lord?”
For sure we want to own Him as Savior. Come to rescue us from sin and death. The Lamb of God who paid the price in full. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
And to be equally sure, that He is Jesus the son of Mary and the Son of God is something we also embrace. Immanuel, God with us. Come in flesh. Friend of sinners. Able to sympathize fully with His people’s experience, yet without sin. Qualified and able to be our High Priest, forever making intercession for us.
But when did He become the Lord? The kurios. The Owner. The Master. The One to whom I belong. The One I acknowledge as having the right and power to call the shots for my life.
I own Him as Christ for He is the Anointed. God’s promised Servant to rescue His people.
I call Him Jesus, the God-man, born into our human experience. Come to call His sheep. Come to care for His flock. Come as the good Shepherd.
But this morning I’m reminded that “The Lord is my shepherd”, come to lead His sheep. And that, I have been bought with a price. I’m no longer my own. Instead, I am His. And He is the Lord.
Oh that, when it comes to my life, He might be the Lord of all.
By His grace. For His glory.