Speaking Christian in our Lenten Journey
Titles of Jesus – Lord and Saviour
Jesus is Lord is the most widespread early Christian affirmation about him. Paul refers to Jesus as Lord and Saviour in many of his letters. Lord in a Jewish context referred to God. It carried with it the notion of loyalty and allegiance. To say that “Jesus is Lord ’meant that he is the revelation of God to whom we are to be committed. To call Jesus, Lord was to remove this title from the emperor and show the worthiness of Christ to those who believed.
As Saul is travelling the road to Damascus he meets Jesus as a bright light. Jesus calls ou and asks, “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me? Saul asks, who are you Lord? Not stating fully his support to Jesus but out of respect to one that is above him. It is only later after he truly believes and has faith in Him, that Saul/ Paul calls upon his as Lord and Saviour. (Acts 22)
The title “Saviour” in a Jewish context is associated with liberation from bondage that is the exodus story and also refers to the time when a change occurs—from exile, from peril and from burdens of sin. The Roman emperor was also called saviour because Caesar Augustus he had brought peace on earth by defeating Mark Anthony and Cleopatra in 31 BCE . But when early Christians spoke of Jesus as Saviour, they were contrasting two meanings of this word.
Roman imperial theology interpreted “Saviour” as one who brought peace through military victory and power. Yet when we call Jesus “Saviour” we mean one who brings peace on earth through justice and non-violence.
Jesus before Easter occurred, challenged the thinking of the Roman world as well as the temple authority.
Jesus is called Saviour and Lord throughout the epistles of Paul for after he came to believe in Jesus, he believed Christ as his Saviour—bringing peace to his world, and Lord because he respected loved and adored him.
How do you understand Jesus as Saviour? Has Christ ‘saved’ you from something and given you peace you have never felt before?
How do you understand Jesus as Lord? Do you worship Jesus and give him the respect he deserves for his challenging both the governing authorities and the religious authorities of his time? What does it mean to call Jesus, Saviour and Lord?
Gracious God we praise you for Jesus- our Saviour and our Lord. Help us to understand that depth of his challenges he made to the world in which he lived. To Roman authority , to religious powers- he spoke and brought peace in non- violent ways. Remind us again why we love him, worship him and follow him. We ask in the Saviour’s name. Amen.
How do you see Jesus as Saviour and Lord? Is it out of respect and admiration for his challenging the authorities of his time? Or is it because you firmly believe that he has saved you from sin and you follow him? Tough questions of faith- but it is to faith we are called through Jesus- Saviour, Lord,…
Marcus J. Borg, Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power- and how they can be restored, Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2012.