There’s a story about a British man who came on business to the American West in the 1800’s. He arrived at his destination, a ranch, and wanted to see the boss. So, employing common phraseology from his country, he asked a cowboy, “Can you tell me where your master is?”
And the cowboy, employing one of the Old West’s favorite bits of profanity, replied that the man hadn’t been born yet.
Americans are raised on the ideal of independence.
The government exists to serve us and has no right to exert overbearing influence in our affairs. Authority can always be questioned. If we don’t like the way the government or authority behaves, we’ll fight it.
(In order the keep this post to a reasonable length, as well as prevent a tedious diversion from my subject, I will refrain from further comment on the previous paragraph.)
Most of all, Americans hold that no one has a right to call himself our “master.”
Then, if we become a Christian, we readily call our God by His well-deserved title of “Lord.”
In the original language of the New Testament, Lord is kurios (pronounced KOO-ree-ohs).
It is the same word translated master, as in
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh . . .
-Ephesians 6:5a (NKJV)
Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in Heaven.
-Colossians 4:1 (NKJV)
Lord means “master.”
But in our American culture, the word master historically referred to a slave-owner, not an employer as the innocent Englishman meant it. And slave-owners are bad, right?
Well, not when the slave consented to the arrangement for his own benefit.
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in you body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
-1Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)
Bu now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
-Romans 6:22 (NKJV)
We are God’s slaves. And every time we call Him “Lord,” we acknowledge that.
But often we don’t take it seriously. After all, we are Americans. Americans are independent; we submit to no one.
And we are all too quick to carry this mindset into our relationship with God.
That is something we can’t afford to do.
Jesus is Lord.
Jesus is Master.
By submitting to Him, we get the best end of the arrangement–joy, peace, and everlasting life.