I like to read different translations from God’s word from time to time in hopes that it will slow me down enough so that I will contemplate on what I am reading. It’s been a few years now and I don’t remember the date, but I certainly remember reading Luke 6:46 as if were for the first time. I have read or heard this passage dozens (if not hundreds) of times before, but when I read it from the Contemporary English Version that afternoon it really punched me in the heart.
As introduction to his parable about the two builders, Jesus asks the question, “Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord when you refuse to do what I say?” “Wow,” I thought, “that is so true.” I am always calling Jesus “Lord”… and I often, way too often, don’t do what he tells me to do.
That word, “Lord” is an interesting one. If you’re like me, I bet that when you read that word in the New Testament in regards to Jesus you equate “Lord” with his Divinity. Or we might think of “Lord” as a name similar with “God.” Makes sense…but not quite right.
I had this pointed out to me. In the New Testament, when followers refer to Jesus as Lord, that is not a reference to his divine status or his heavenly residence. The word they are using isn’t Yahweh. No, the word that’s translated in the New Testament (most often) is the word Kurios. It shows up all over the place. And get this: Kurios is the word given to the Master or THE BOSS. If you want to get real technical (and I do) Kurios is the owner of the slave.
Speaking of slaves…that word is doulos. That’s also the word used to describe a follower of Jesus. That word appears about 130 times in the New Testament. Sometimes it’s translated as “servant” but the most literal term is “slave.”
That is who I am. That is who you are. We are owned by Jesus. We work for Jesus. Schlie translation: Jesus is the Boss of me. Often, way too often, I get that turned around as if Jesus is to do my will, take care of my needs, answer my prayers the way I want them to be answered. It’s crazy how I get that turned around.
This week is an important time. It’s Holy Week. The early Christians called it “Great Week.” It’s a great time to watch our Master…our Boss as he continues his mission undercover to win salvation for us all. Jesus is the ultimate authority. He was there in the beginning. As the old creed goes: Very God of Very God, Being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
And yet…what does He do? St. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:7-8 that “He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
Jesus becomes the slave of the cross – my cross, your cross. He is the ultimate undercover boss! He is the Master who laid down his life for his slaves. He is the Authority who died a criminal’s death…only to take it up again on Easter morning. Therefore, Jesus is the name above all names. Jesus is the Savior. Jesus is the Boss of me.
I don’t remember the date when Luke 6:46 opened my eyes anew and I don’t remember the exact wording of the prayer that followed, but it went something like this. “Lord, you are my Master and I am your slave. You are the Boss of me and I am your servant. I have mistakenly switched these terms around and titles around. Forgive me for my foolishness. Put me to what you will. I am yours. Amen.
That’s a prayer I need to pray regularly. I need that reminder – daily. Jesus is the Boss of me…and I love my Boss!
Chuck Schlie serves as Associate Pastor and Head of School at Messiah Lutheran. As a father of 5 and over 25 years of ministry experience, he writes about faith, family and occasionally…fun!