Probably it is understatement to say that Jesus is the most misunderstood figure, in the entire planet. Since the Nicean Council, the study of Jesus’ Lordship appears as an unending expedition. I suppose this will continue until His second-coming. This paper is another attempt, following millions of other studies, coming and going. Such productions serve to provide necessary alternatives, for independent researchers.
This post is not recommended for those with nervous disposition. But, it is highly recommended for those desiring to venture into analytical studies, as Jesus Stated:
“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And the will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23) ESV.
Only a careless person takes these words lightly. However, these words can give discomfort to most people. But let us bear in mind that the choices we make in life serve to make a huge difference in our spiritual condition. This is just as Jesus advised:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14) ESV.
Let us start by defining the meaning of love, in its Biblical context, as expounded by Paul:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) ESV.
Paul is not necessarily suggesting that all the things listed here should be shunned, necessarily. Giving away all you have, to poor people, is commendable, but without love, you gain nothing. But, how can it be possible for someone to give all he/she has to the poor, yet without love?
Nevertheless, the most poignant question is: How can love be acquired and how can one know whether he/she has it or not? Most of those who have actually studied this topic state that love cannot be felt. But I suppose everyone wants to access this thing called love, in order to be in God’s Kingdom? Offering one’s body to be burnt indicates desperation for desiring God’s Kingdom. But Paul says, even under those circumstances, attaining God’s Kingdom would be a futile attempt, without love.
Anyway, I suppose John puts it succinctly, when stating that: “God is Love.” (1 John 4:16). This seems to resonate with Jesus who clearly declared as follows:
“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20) ESV.
You have to first study the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, aiming at surpassing their righteousness, before considering God’s Kingdom. However, that study would reveal that since the time of Jesus there has not been anyone coming nearer the righteousness of those highly religious people. What was Christ talking about, then? I suppose this serves to enable appreciation of the fact that there is nothing one can do to earn God’s Kingdom.
But bear in mind that in one of His parables; Christ stated that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a hidden treasure. One could actually sell everything he has to buy the field, as long as being certain that is where the treasure would be hidden (Matthew 13: 44-45). But Paul says even if you give away everything, you gain nothing. There seems to be contradiction, here.
The mystery is revealed in Jesus’ Lordship. The term ‘Lord’ is reserved for anyone taking the position of a master or king. The slave master is lord to his servant. The king is also lord to his subjects. The slave doesn’t own anything, as he/she is owned by his master. The king is also supreme to those under his territory, whom he owns, but the people do not own him.
The term: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you: Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also…” (Matthew 5:38-39) is coming from the King’s command, superseding everything said before then.
The Lordship of Jesus is revealed in the prayer that He instructed us to use as model, with special emphasis on: “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Interestingly, this prayer indicates that the petitioner abdicates his/her rights, granting God to do His own will in that person’s life.
Bear in mind that God’s will may not be likeable to the petitioner of that prayer. This is just as the will of the king may not be likable to the people under his kingdom. The slaughter of the baby boys, as directed by King Herod, may obviously not have been likeable to those carrying out the instruction (Matthew 2:16). But those soldiers did not have any choice, except to obey the King’s command, as overriding everything under the King’s territory.
Many people profess to be followers of Jesus, yet stating that it is lunatic to turn the other chick, for instance. A friend, recently, declared to me that it is not necessary to obey everything that Jesus said, verbatim; except using common sense.
The soldiers carrying out King Herod’s instructions to slaughter innocent babies could have been surprised to hear of someone talking about common sense, as reason to defy the King’s command? What the king says is law to the loyalists. Abraham may have also not agreed with the decision to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. That may not have aligned with his common sense, which may be outside obeying the King’s command.
The term “Jesus is Lord” implies that one has got no liberty, except to obey the King’s command. Everything said by Jesus is law, to those who take Him as their King; no questions asked. What this means is that whatever righteous act done by anyone claiming to be under the Lordship of Jesus, has got nothing to do with that person.
What Jesus decides to do with the lives of those under His authority, has got nothing to do with other people’s opinions. The righteousness of those people is the righteousness of Jesus. Whether that righteousness is approved by other people or not, is immaterial. In any case, who can evaluate the workings of Jesus, except a lunatic? The Lordship of Jesus surpasses any other lordship known to ever have existed on this planet. Fellow Christians; how do you measure up to the Lord’s commands?
It is not surprising that Jesus will declare ignorance of those known to have performed many wonderful works in His name. Those people would be found to have been lords unto themselves, without realizing that there is no other Lord before Jesus. While surprising, it is true that even today, we still have people unashamedly and comfortably accepting rabbinic positions. This is even though Jesus declared against that behavior (Matthew 23:8).
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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