I was once in a prayer group with a guy who started with something like: “Dear Lord God Jesus Holy Spirit Savior…”. He didn’t seem to know who he was talking to. Of course, he knew he was talking to God, but who exactly is that?
If we want to be legalistic, we are to pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. But I don’t think God became flesh, lived and died for us, just to say, “You didn’t get it right, so I’m not listening!” If we call out to our God, He listens.
A bigger issue for those of us who are disciples of Jesus is whether we really understand who Jesus is to us. To any disciple, He is Savior. He is Messiah. He is Lord. He is King. But do we really understand these titles?
I believe it is important for those of us who follow Jesus to understand these them. I believe we can refer to Him by any—or all of them (probably not at the same time). But not because we’re not sure what to say!
Jesus is the name given to the flesh—the human being—God became (John 1:14). This man, Jesus was fully human, and fully divine (John 1:1).
Jesus, God who became flesh, is the Messiah. The word “messiah” is Hebrew for “anointed” or “chosen”. The Greek word for Messiah is “Christ”. So, Jesus is The Christ, the chosen one (Acts 2:36). Christ is not His last name. If there would be one, it would be “of Nazareth”. Christ is His title—and a description of who He is. Jesus of Nazareth, sone of Joseph, the chosen one.
In this passage in Acts, Luke tells us that Jesus is also known as Lord.
Americans don’t like “lords”. Our forefathers fought a war to get rid of them. And our success in that war left us without a good frame of reference to understand that word.
So, what exactly is a “Lord”? “Lord” is probably best rendered into American as “Boss”. But Jesus isn’t called “a boss”. He is called The Boss—in fact, the Boss of Bosses. The problem is, if we’re honest, we don’t particularly like bosses either. We believe we should be able to do what we want. Isn’t that freedom? Isn’t freedom the most important thing?
The answer is no. Freedom is not the most important thing. Forgiveness and belonging to Jesus is. So, Jesus, the Christ, is our Lord if we belong to Him.
Forgiveness is so important to us for the simple reason that without it, we remain under the penalty of our sin. By forgiving us He rescued us from the penalty of our sin. He saved us. That’s why we also call Him Savior. Jesus is the Christ, our Lord. Our Savior.
There is one more title I find to be important to me as I follow Jesus as His disciple.
Jesus is King.
This title is becoming more and more popular for modern Christians. Maybe it’s because we find the older titles to be less meaningful because people use them all the time—sometimes people who don’t even belong to Him. Maybe it’s because more and more people are realizing that Jesus is not just our Lord. He is Lord over everyone—and everything. He is the head of the Kingdom of God. The King. And He is King over all others who have authority.
He is the King of Kings (Revelation 17:14).
Jesus is all these things to me. But I find the most meaning in the title “King”. Maybe it’s because it is so different, it shocks us into thinking through exactly who He is in our life.
He has complete authority over us. He has the right to tell us what to think and how to feel, what to say, and what to do. We don’t vote Him out when we don’t like what He says or does. We don’t complain to others and look for an alternative. We are personally devoted to Him and we will do anything for Him.
He is our King. He literally owns us.
People become Kings in two ways. The one we are the most used to is heredity. Jesus could claim the throne of the Kingdom of God as the Son of God. But He didn’t. Jesus didn’t inherit this title. He earned it.
And when He commands, we obey. Period. That is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus—Lord, Savior, Chosen One, God Who Became Flesh. King.
All Hail King Jesus! Know Him and Be Faithful!