the weblog of Alan Knox

Jesus is Lord

Posted by on Feb 4, 2007 in discipleship | 4 comments

History tells us that early Christians were occasionally called to stand trial. They were told that they would be released if they would simply say, “Caesar is Lord,” and burn incense to the Roman gods. If they refused, then they would be punished.

Consider these two portions of a letter sent from Pliny to Tacitus sometime around 96 AD:

In the meanwhile, the method I have observed towards those who have been brought before me as Christians is this: I asked them whether they were Christians; if they admitted it, I repeated the question twice, and threatened them with punishment; if they persisted, I ordered them to be at once punished…

An anonymous information was laid before me containing a charge against several persons, who upon examination denied they were Christians, or had ever been so. They repeated after me an invocation to the gods, and offered religious rites with wine and incense before your statue (which for that purpose I had ordered to be brought, together with those of the gods), and even reviled the name of Christ: whereas there is no forcing, it is said, those who are really Christians into any of these compliances: I thought it proper, therefore, to discharge them.

It seems the name of Jesus and submission to him as Lord carried more significance / implications for these early Christians than we typically see in America today. But, what about in other parts of the world?

Almost one year ago, Becky Lynn Black reported the story of a young Ethiopian believer who was shot in the head for speaking the words, “Jesus is Lord.”

Now, another missionary tells of two more young believers – modern day “Friends of Daniel” – who boldly and publicly confessed their faith in Jesus Christ, despite possible persecution.

But, these stories seem to highlight the differences between the persecuted church and the church in America. It does not cost us anything to say, “Jesus is Lord.” Have we forgotten what this phrase means? Has the lack of ramifications caused the phrase “Jesus is Lord” to become just another slogan or marketing gimmick?

So, I ask you, what does “Jesus is Lord” mean to you personally? What does “Jesus is Lord” mean corporately as you gather with other believers?


4 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 2-4-2007

    Hey Alan, Thanks for linking to me. I pray that all who are reading- myself included- would see their faith truly deepen to the point where Jesus is truly Lord.

  2. 2-4-2007

    strider,

    Thanks for you comment. You wrote an excellent article. I pray that many people will take the time to read it and ask themselves what they would do in a similar situation.

    -Alan

  3. 2-4-2007

    For me, within the body that I meet with:

    “Jesus is Lord” = he is our Senior Pastor, we are the sheep of His flock. HE is the one to guide us because HE is sovereign. We are safe and protected when we follow after Him (I don’t mean physically protected, but we are hid in Him), and we are to call others to follow after Him as well. Just as a sheep wouldn’t try to lead the other sheep on his own, but show them how to follow after the Shepherd, so I should be an example of following after Jesus my Lord.

    Thanks Alan – I will chew on this a little more.

  4. 2-4-2007

    Leah,

    Thank you for this testimony. I’m encouraged that this is your understanding. This is the way I understand “Jesus is Lord” among the gathered church as well.

    -Alan