Where human achievement is concerned there is a subjective and open ended discussion as to who is the greatest. Every car company wants you convinced that, in some quantifiable way, their vehicle is the best on the road. Who has been the greatest athlete to play basketball, Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Who has been the greatest quarterback to play in the NFL? Is it Tom Brady or is it Peyton Manning? In politics you find plenty of books and opinion pieces written on who has been the best US President and which statesmen were the greatest to serve.
All these statements are subjective in nature, reflecting the worldview and personal opinion of the one arguing.
Christians however, are not in such a category. When we say “Jesus is Lord” we are not making a subjective faith claim based upon our opinion and subjective interpretation of reality.
Jesus Is Lord is not a statement of faith. It’s a fact. Jesus is Lord over Heaven and Earth whether or not anyone ever recognizes or acknowledges Him as such.
There is no question from any serious historical scholars as to the reality of Jesus as a historical figure. That is to say, He actually lived and was a real person. Furthermore, we have more reliable textual and historical evidence for Jesus and His teachings than we do for most historical figures from the middle ages and before, certainly from the first century. We know what He claimed, what He did, and what those who knew Him best considered Him to be. To state the case simply, He was either a liar, a lunatic, or He was Lord. There is simply no rational reason to believe Jesus was anything less than exactly what He claimed to be.
Jesus is Lord over Heaven and Earth!
“He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell, and to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him, I say—whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:18-20, MEV)
It wasn’t a simple statement of faith to say Jesus is Lord in the Apostles day. They understood their confession to be a direct challenge to the ruling class of Rome. If Jesus is Lord then Caesar is not. When the first century Christians confessed and preached that “Jesus is Lord” they did so in direct detriment to their personal safety and prosperity. Many of them confessed Jesus is Lord to their own deaths.
We don’t have Caesars anymore but we still have idols. If Jesus is Lord of our life then all our idols are not. We serve Jesus and nothing else! If Jesus is in fact Lord over Heaven and Earth then it is incumbent upon us to serve Him and nothing else.
It is nothing short of a denial of reality, an abandonment of objective truth, to deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is why our world is in the state it is today. When you lose the fundamental reality that sustains our world, namely that Jesus Christ is Lord, you lose the ability to claim any other objective truths and leave culture and the human condition open to chaos and the onslaught of irrational ideologies.
“He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17, MEV)
Jesus is Lord, the one who orders and sustains all material life. He holds everything together. Without His Lordship at the center of our understanding of what it means to be human life becomes irrational and given to the absurdity and chaos we’re witnessing around us. There is no truth to be found outside of the framework of this single ontological reality; Jesus is Lord. If we are to understand ourselves and our world we must first understand the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
“So concerning the eating of foods that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For there are those who are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there are many gods and many lords. But for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist. And there is one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1Corinthians 8:4-6, MEV)
He was before anything else was. There is nothing that exists that He didn’t create and nothing created that He doesn’t control. Therefore there is no created thing that He doesn’t have Lordship over. You and I can build houses but Jesus makes trees! The smith can shape steel but Jesus puts iron in the ground!
Jesus is Lord is not a statement of faith. It’s a fact! The only thing open for question is your acknowledgement and obedience to the reality of His Lordship! Will you bow your knee? Will you open your heart to His Lordship? Will you live in response to the radical truth of His Lordship?
“And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11, MEV)
There was no life like His and no death like His. There is no other name like His and no other kingdom like His. Jesus is Lord! He went to the cross for us. Exampled love, sacrificial obedience, and humility. Because of that obedience to death His name has been exalted above every name. Considering all these things, the only appropriate answer is for us to bow our knee and serve Him as Lord. Our only rational response is to confess along with the first century believers that Jesus is Lord!