Following Jesus: Is It a Lordship Issue?

“It’s been said often enough, but it bears repeating: without the real human Jesus of Nazareth, we are at the mercy of anybody who tells us ‘Christ’ is this, or that.”
–N. T. Wright

Is Jesus really Lord over my life? How you answer that question will determine what kind of life you will eventually lead. If you accept that Jesus is Lord, then that will profoundly impact every single aspect of your life. Jesus now has a say in everything that goes on in your life. He has a say in how you will raise your family. He has a say in how you will conduct your affairs. He has a say in how you will respond to various circumstances. He has a say in how you will treat other people. He has a say in what types of entertainment you will consume. He has a say in how you will spend your time, energy, and money. Some of us may not like it, but if we truly say that Jesus is Lord, then He has an important say in what goes on in our lives.

There’s a sobering verse in Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount that has always given me a bit of trouble. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21, ESV). In this short verse, we find that there will be people who will proclaim that Jesus is Lord but will be surprised in the end that they won’t be entering the kingdom of heaven. Why is that the case? Jesus tells us that they weren’t really doing the will of the Father. Although these people seemed to declare that Jesus was Lord, they really weren’t living under His authority and Lordship. They still lived as if they were lord.

“Jesus is Lord” is a declaration that cannot be made lightly. It means that as Lord, Jesus has determined certain things for His followers. Jesus has a set of ways that He wants followed. He has a set of values that He wants embraced. He has a particular lifestyle that He wants lived out. He has certain commands that He wants obeyed. He has a will that He wants done. And if we truly declare that Jesus is Lord, then what we’re really saying is that we are willing to intentionally come under His rule, His authority, and His Lordship. Discipleship starts with a proper understanding of the Lordship of Jesus. Every other problem we see in Christianity in general can be traced back to this issue of Lordship. Is Jesus really Lord over my life?