While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve of them in all. Acts 19:1-7
The Greek word Kyrios is used in the New Testament to refer to an owner, emperor, king, father, husband, or master. When people addressed Jesus as Kyrios or "Lord" in the Gospels, they were often simply showing respect to him as a rabbi or teacher, addressing him as "sir". But after his death and resurrection, the title "Lord" began to be used widely by believers. The word "Lord" became a statement of deep faith and conviction.
Remember the apostle Thomas, who at first doubted accounts of Christ's resurrection? When Jesus appeared to him after his death, Thomas instinctively responded with a confession of faith, saying: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)
As the Christian community grew its earliest confession of faith consisted of three short words: Jesus is Lord! (Philippians 2:11)
What we must remember about the early Christian community is that their experience of the resurrected Christ was lived out in their ongoing heart-to-heart relationship with him and one another. Whether in the flesh or in the Spirit- Jesus was their Lord.
To call Jesus Lord meant:
They had encountered a love like no other in him.
He was the one they were actively following.
The way he lived, was the way they intended to live.
They were convinced that his Spirit was with them, leading and guiding them, deep in their own hearts and within the life of their community.
And what about us of the 21st century? How comfortable are we with following Jesus, being led by Jesus, allowing Jesus to guide us? How willing are we to turn our will and our lives over to his care? How willing are we to live more in his name than in any other?
What do you think Thomas meant when he said, "My Lord and my God"?
How do you hear the words, Jesus is Lord? What other words might you use instead of Lord?
What does following Jesus look like in your life?