WHEN JESUS IS LORD
Luke 6:46 49
It seems natural to address Jesus Christ as "Lord". The title seems to belong to Him. His earliest followers felt this
was proper from the beginning. This is rather surprising since they would not have used this title to address any
other. As Jewish people they had been taught that only God is Lord. They were reminded of this often through the
Old Testament records of persons like Daniel and his friends. They were subjected to great danger because they
contended there was only one Lord. The three Hebrew friends of Daniel were cast into the blazing furnace, and
Daniel himself spent a quiet night in a den of lions. The first followers of Jesus were descendents of Daniel, yet they
called Jesus "Lord".
This was both an affirmation of His deity and His authority. It affirmed the uniqueness of His relationship to God and
the absolute authority that went with this relationship. It was not an idle thing to address Jesus as Lord.
Yet then as now, not everyone that addressed Him as Lord actively lived under His Lordship. There is no value in
simply saying, “Jesus is Lord." The blessing comes when life is lived under His Lordship. Jesus sets forth the
essentials of this in our text. He makes clear that this is the only life that will stand the storms of life.
I. WHEN JESUS IS LORD, THERE IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM
In contrast to those who say "Lord, Lord", but do not obey Him, Jesus presents the true disciple in three simple
statements. First, the person under His Lordship "comes to me.'' This is a simple present tense participle in the
original text, but it says so much.
A. The Establishment of the Relationship
The relationship is established at some point in time. Even though a person may have known about Jesus from
their earliest memory, there is a moment in life in which a personal relation¬ship is established by "coming to Jesus"
personally. To come to Him is to make a faith response to Him. To realize that He is indeed Lord, the unique
revelation of God and the supreme authority over man, is the first step. When this realization seizes a person, then
they respond to Him with a faith commitment. This is the acceptance of the relationship.
B. The Continuance of the Relationship
The participle is present tense. This means that it has a continuous force. While there is a special moment in whish
you make your first response to Jesus, it does not end there. You keep on coming to Jesus. You keep on affirming
Him as the true center of life.
Too many people have mistaken a relationship with a religious institution for a relationship with Jesus. You may be
a well known member of the church, even a leader, and not know Jesus as Lord. Judas was an accepted member
of the company of the Apostles, but was void of any real relation¬ship with Jesus as Lord. Also many people
confuse knowledge of Jesus with a personal relation¬ship with Him. To really know Him and have a relationship with
Him is to trust Him with all of your heart.
II. WHEN JESUS IS LORD, THERE IS PERSONAL INSTRUCTION FROM HIM
''And hears my sayings" is the second term Jesus used to describe life under His Lordship. This grows out of this
personal relationship with Him. To be under His Lordship is to be under His instruction. "Hears" is another present
tense participle. This means that this is a continuous thing. It is the pattern of life to be hearing His words.
How does He give this instruction today? Obviously it was personal and direct to those first disciples. But His word
comes to us through other means.
A. Through the Scripture.
This is the first means by which the Lord speaks to His disciples. The written scripture will have a special place in
the life of a person under His Lordship. The person who never reads, studies, or meditates upon the word is not
living under His Lordship. The true disciple has a hunger to know the mind of his Lord. He will approach the Holy
Scriptures regularly and faithfully so he can hear the voice of His Lord.
B. Through the Spirit
The Risen Lord communicates His instructions to His disciples through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He promised, "He
will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13) The Apostle Paul wrote, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these
are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14) This is an identi¬fying mark of a person under His Lordship today- the Holy
Spirit instructs Him. However, we must not divorce this instruction of the Holy Spirit from the Holy Scripture. They will
never con¬flict with one another, and usually the Holy Spirit will speak through the Holy Scriptures.
This is basic to living under His Lordship. We "hear" Him. We listen to Him. True listening requires a certain attitude.
We listen to Him with reverence and trust when He is Lord.
III. WHEN JESUS IS LORD, THERE IS PERSONAL OBEDIENCE TO HIM
Anything less than this is not true discipleship. Jesus added this third element like this, "and does then." This is
A. This Obedience Grows out of the Relationship
Jesus was not establishing a new reign of legalism. Rather the relationship with Him is such that you want to do His
word. It is an expression of your trust in Him and devotion to Him. Later He would say, "If you love me, keep my
commandments. (John 14:15) Again He would say, ''You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." (John
15:14) These statements make it clear that the obedience grows out of the relationship. The love relationship
keeps it from
becoming destructive leadership. This is the reason He could say, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for
my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28a, 29) John declares, "And His commandments are not
burdensome." (I John 5:3b)
B. This Obedience is Specific.
It is not that we obey Him in a general sort of way. Rather we give careful attention to the specific words of our Lord
and seek to implement them in our lives. We take seriously His words on every subject. We are concerned about
His will in every area of life. We obey His words about prayer, about witnessing, about worry, about money, about
neighbors, about love, about the church, and about the home. His word is supreme in all of life.
C. This Obedience is Continuous
We have another present tense participle here. It has the force of continuous action. The "doing" is a way of life. It
is a practice.
We must not confuse continuous with complete however. Our obedience will never be complete in this life, but it is
continuous. How can this be? Is this not a contradiction in terms? I do not think so. Being the sinners that we are,
we are not capable of perfect obedience to the Lord Jesus, even with the wonderful assistance of the Holy Spirit.
But we can surely render to Him substantial obedience. The direction of our lives can be in the direction of
obedience. We can have a heart for obedience.
The persons who say ''Lord, Lord," but make no serious attempt to obey His words are not under His Lordship. A
Lord must be obeyed.
I read recently of the practice of the INTER VARSITY FELLOWSHIP that has a ministry on so many college and
university campuses. They teach their leaders to approach each professing Christian with an assumption that he or
she is ready to obey the Lord. This caught my attention. As a pastor I have been guilty of approaching Christians
with a different assumption. But should this not be our assumption?
A young person came to a spiritual leader in the midst of a real spiritual conflict. The Lord Jesus had begun to
press upon the young person a call to the mission field. This conflicted with personal plans that were already made.
A real struggle was going on in the soul. After discussing that nature of the struggle for a while, the wise counselor
helped the young person put the struggle into focus.
Taking the young persons Bible, he turned to Acts 10:14, and read, "But Peter said, 'Not so, Lord!''' The counselor
pointed out the contradiction in the statement. You cannot say "Not so, Lord!" If you say, "Not so", He is not Lord.
You are lord since you are making the decision.
The counselor left the young person with the Bible and a pencil. He said, "You must either mark out "not so" or
"Lord". When you have made your decision, let me know.''
After a while the young person joyfully showed him the Bible with the "not so" marked out. When He is Lord, you
This is really the bottom line. The only life that will stand the storms is one where Jesus is truly Lord of your life. It is
the life in which Lordship is a practice- not just a profession.
Are you living such a life?