I was recently thinking about the words we use as Christians to refer to Jesus: we often call Him our “Lord” and “Savior.” Interestingly, this is how He was announced by the angels when He was born, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). But the definition of these two words are not identical.
In the original Greek language, the word Savior means deliverer, while the word Lord describes supreme authority.
When we are born-again, Jesus becomes our Savior (our deliverer)–it is what we receive first. Whereas, “Lord” insinuates something more constant. It’s one thing to be saved; but an entirely different thing to yield your whole life to another.
I hear Christians talk about Jesus being their Lord and Savior, but their their lives contradict their statement. Jesus may have been their Savior, but it is not apparent He is their Lord. It reminds me of the ten lepers:
And it came to pass, as they were on their way to Jerusalem, that He was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off and they lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
And when He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And it came to pass, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, with a loud voice glorifying God; and he fell upon his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, “Were not the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there none found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger?” And He said unto him, “Arise, and go your way: your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:11-19).
What makes this story so convicting is the fact that many Christians behave this same way. Here were ten men who had a horrible disease that forced them to live out their lives separated from society. But Jesus, being compassionate towards them, gave them instructions which in turn resulted in their healing. And at that moment, Jesus became their SAVIOR.
But one–only one–came back to make Him LORD also.
I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to receive deliverance from Jesus and then lightly esteem Him. In the story of the ten lepers, this behavior obviously grieved Jesus. How much more do you think it grieves Him when we do the same?
In Romans 1:21, this behavior is sometimes called the sin of omission. “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Is this what happened to the other nine?
The one who returned and was thankful, was also made whole. The other nine were healed, but left with scars. The light of deliverance shone upon them, but they didn’t receive all they could have.
I want to encourage you to not live in this manner. Remain thankful. Glorify God. Honor Him by recognizing Him daily. Don’t just let Him be your Savior and not really be your Lord. Don’t call Him Lord as if it’s His nickname. Let it be true in your life. Let Him have supreme authority.
When you do, He is able to do “…exceedingly, abundantly, above what you could ever ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20). If salvation and deliverance set you free, how much more could He do in your life? You may never know until you truly make Him your Lord. [click to tweet]
“Therefore, grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Question: How have you viewed these two words? Did you think they were the same? [please share your thoughts]