While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight. Mark 12:35-37
Jesus is talking here about the Jews’ expectation of the messiah. The teaching tradition was that the messiah would be a king who was a decedent of David. The classic prophesy of scripture they used involved God promise to David in II Samuel:
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. . . . Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ” II Sam 7:12-16
Jesus amazed them by pointing out scriptures that teach that the messiah would be called Lord, not just a leader.
This was a radical, life changing concept — for the people back then, and for us today.
Because you can admire a great king, you can pledge fealty to him.
But you don’t worship him. You don’t see him as divinity. You don’t live in complete subservience to him in every area of your life.
It wasn’t the first time this concept had been introduced in the time of Jesus. What did the angel tell the shepherds?
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:12
The angel proclaimed it. Jesus came to be God on earth.
And later Jesus would confirm it:
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” Matt 28:18
The messiah would not just be a regent to pay homage to. He would not just be a leader to follow. He would be the Lord, to whom every knee should bow.
Today, can we treat Jesus as our leader, but not our Lord? Do we want to follow him, but not bow down to him in every area of our lives?
Here are six practical ways to make him Lord:
- Get up early enough to spend time with God. Start your day with putting God first. I have done this for 25 years, and it is an awesome blessing. That doesn’t mean it comes easily. Even after all this time. I still have to battle for it, especially for a focused prayer time. But making it happen makes every day go better.
- Watch your tongue. This is so difficult for me lately. I have been feeling negative and critical, and I find myself saying negative things about others. It feels like I’m teething, and I want to bite something. I also catch myself loving to tell juicy stories about others that I wouldn’t want to repeat to their face. I definitely have to guard my mouth.
- Reach out to someone at least once each day. Be outward focused and seek to connect with others by texting, calling, emailing, and even better, actually getting with someone. Don’t just let social media be your interaction! Don’t let your schedule get more important than people. Love others as He loves us.
- Submit to one another. Married women, let your husband lead, regardless of his competence to do so, and TRUST that this is God’s plan. I have been married 34 years and I KNOW this is the best way. If you fight for your own way, you are fighting against God. Everyone, married or not, submit to one another out of reverence for God. Honor one another above yourselves. Don’t have to have your own way.
- Seek and save the lost. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs since I first started seeking God when I was 16, and I can state with certainty, life is always better when I’m making a concerted effort to bring others to Christ. There is just something about changing someone’s life forever, and getting close to them in the process, that is the most fulfilling thing ever. But doing this is also the HARDEST THING. It really takes a conscious effort every day, every instance, to deny self and make Jesus Lord. If you think it’s difficult for you because it’s not your gift, think again. It’s hard for all of us. But it will bring you the greatest blessings.
- Fight for your heart. I’m just telling you from experience, you’ve got to get in there and tackle this stuff. Battle the bad attitudes that rise up every day. Wrestle with your laziness and lack of motivation. Don’t let moodiness control you. All these things will arise, but don’t give into them. Don’t let them be the status quo. Fighting for your heart is one of those things that seem hard to do at the time, but believe me, it’s worse if you don’t deal with it. Remember, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” (Heb. 12:15) A bad attitude GROWS and messes you up, and also hurts others.
Today, people still think that the scriptures teach that God plans to build a physical kingdom through the nation of Israel. If you’re interested in exploring what the Bible says about this, here is a great article.
But Jesus came to do much more. He came to establish a spiritual kingdom, where he would be King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Rev. 17:14)
And his rightful place would be on the throne of our lives and hearts.