“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.”
– John 13:13 (emphasis added)
As for Jesus being “Teacher,” you may recall this passage upon which we focused a few months ago:
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.”
– Matthew 23:8-10 (Jesus speaking)
Thus we see that Jesus intends that the teaching position He holds be considered unique in our lives. I am not your teacher – I am your brother. Jesus is the teacher to whom I am pointing you. We are all His disciples – a word whose meaning we’ve given our attention the last few days. He is the Teacher and we are disciples – the ones He trains to be like Him.
As for Jesus being “Lord,” that is a point repeated over and over in the New Testament. It’s part of His name: He’s “the Lord Jesus Christ.” Even yesterday, we read in our chosen passage:
…”All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
– Matthew 28:18
This is just another way of Jesus saying, “I am Lord.” And it is on the basis of His lordship that Jesus could go on to say:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
– Matthew 28:19
Only if Jesus was Lord of heaven and earth would He have the authority to command “all the nations” to be made His disciples.
We shouldn’t think of “Teacher” and “Lord” as two different activities of Jesus; rather, they are one and the same. That is, He is the teaching Lord – or you could say the authoritative Teacher. What this means in practical terms is that following Jesus is a trial-and-error process.
The story of the Prodigal Son illustrates that God is not a father eager to catch his son doing something wrong, but, on the contrary, eager to catch him doing something right. Jesus died on the cross for us to demonstrate that we could come to Him knowing – absolutely knowing for sure – that we could find forgiveness.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, my repeated failures make me lose heart in seeking to be Your disciple. However, You do not want me to lose heart – You teach me to keep trying…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)