St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief. 

Answer. I believe in… Jesus Christ,… our Lord.

Though perhaps less frequently today than in years past, one often sees the words JESUS IS LORD on billboards, bumper stickers, tee-shirts, and lapel pins, and even on such mundane household items as coffee cups and refrigerator magnets. Of course, the words are perfectly true; though perhaps a full & proper understanding of what they mean is often lacking on the part of those who display them. 

The Hebrew word for Lord is Adonay. Because the name of God revealed to Moses on Mt Sinai (Exodus 3:13-14 6:2-9), YHWH (Jehovah/Yahweh), was deemed so holy that sinful men would not dare utter it for fear of profaning the sacred Name, the word Adonay or Lord was pronounced in its place. The Greek word used to translate the Hebrew Old Testament and used in the original Greek New Testament is Kyrios. The opening litany or supplication in the mass is Kyrie eleison, “Lord have Mercy.” Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity,  and 
therefore God (as we examined last month), it is most appropriate that we call Jesus our Lord in the same sense that we call His Father Lord. As Christ said of Himself: I and my Father are one. (St John 10:30) And as St Paul affirmed: All things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist…. In him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 1:16-17; 2:9)

The truth that JESUS IS LORD was foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. As Jesus pointed out, King David in the Psalms spoke of the coming messiah or Christ as his Lord rather than as his son. (Psalm 110:1; St Matthew 22:41-46) Jeremiah proclaimed Name of the coming messiah or Christ as The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6) Malachi spoke of the messenger who would prepare the way for coming the Lord; and this prophecy found its fulfillment in John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, who would be called the prophet of the Highest, and who would go before the face to the Lord to prepare his ways. (Malachi 3:1; St Luke 1: 16-17, 76)Isaiah spoke the words of the Lord proclaiming the divine nature of the Coming One, and His rightful title as Lord. I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another. (Isaiah 42:8) 

While Christ dwelt on earth, it became increasingly clear to His disciples that JESUS IS LORD. Because of His words & deeds it was natural for them to call Him Lord. (See St Matthew 13:51; 14:28, 30; 16:22; 17:4; 18:21; 26:22, & parallels) After He had performed many signs & wonders, those seeking physical or spiritual health addressed Jesus as Lord. (See St Matthew 8:2, 6, 8; 9:28; 15:22, 25, 27; 17:15; 20:30-33, & parallels) Christ described Himself as Lord over the Sabbath, asserting that He, as the Word of God Incarnate, was greater even that the Law given to Moses. (St Matthew 12:8) But it was with the Resurrection that the disciples came to the full realization that JESUS IS LORD. After he had thrust his hand into the side of the Risen Lord, the once doubting Thomas exclaimed: My Lord and my God.(St John 20:28)A central (if not the central) tenet of the Gospel the Church has proclaimed since the days of the Apostles is thatGod hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36) And now, seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus Christ rules and over-rules all things in heaven & earth as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16) As the Apostle Paul noted, from our current perspective, now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:8-9) 

JESUS IS LORD means that He is the Governor, Master, and Possessor of all things, including us. Certainly this is because He, like His Father, is God and therefore our Creator and divine ruler as noted above. But Jesus Christ is our Lord also because He has a claim on us in that He paid the price of our redemption from sin, death, and the devil through His own blood. (See Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Colossians 1:14; Titus 2:14; 1 St Peter 1:9; Revelation 5:9) This requires that we confess our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord before the world. (Romans 10:9-13; Philippians 2:9-11) But this confession that JESUS IS LORD must be manifest in our lives as well; for as Jesus warns us: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (St Matthew 7:21)We must be imitators of our Lord; for as Jesus said at the Last Supper before He laid down His life for us:Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am…. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.(St John 13:13-15; see also St Luke 22:27)