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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
10- Jesus is the Lord
With Respect to Him Being the Lord
(A) 'LORD' Is One of God's Names
God said in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet: "I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Saviour" (Is. 43:1 1), and: "I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me" (Is. 45:5), and: "Have not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me" (Is. 45:21). The Lord Jesus Christ said, quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6, verse 13: "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Lk. 4:8); (Matt. 4:10). He also said: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God' (Lk. 4:12); (Matt. 4:7). So the Lord is God, that is why it is written in the Book of Deuteronomy: "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords" (Deut. 10:17), and in the Book of Hosea: "I am the Lord your God.. and you shall know no God but Me" (Hos. 13:4). One of the most important verses which prove that 'Lord' is one of the names of God alone is what the Lord Himself said in the Book of Isaiah: "I am the Lord, that is My name, and My glory I will not give to another" (Is. 42:8).
(B) The Lord Jesus Was Called 'Lord' on Many Occasions That Revealed His Divinity
(1) One of these occasions was the question asked by the Lord Jesus, which puzzled the Pharisees. When they said that Christ is the Son of David, He asked them: "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The Lord said to My Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool' '? " (Ps. I 10: 1), "And no one was able to answer Him a word' (Matt. 22:43-46). David called Christ 'Lord', and the phrase 'sit at My right hand adds to the power of the verse.
(2) The title 'Lord' was used in addressing the Lord Jesus Christ in prayers. Prayer is worship in which the word 'Lord' should be addressed to God only. Regarding this the Lord Jesus Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). Here, the Lord says that prayers addressed to Him without good deeds are in vain. The same meaning is conveyed when He said: "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord, 'and do not do the things which I say?" (Lk. 6:46)
(3) The name 'Lord' will be used in addressing Christ on the Day of Judgment. The Lord Jesus Christ said: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matt. 7:22,23). The discourse of those people with Christ as being the Judge, and His executing Judgment -are proofs of His Divinity. Undoubtedly, the fact that people will address Christ on the Day of Judgment as 'Lord' is proof of His Divinity because He is the One who decides their destiny. The phrases 'prophesied in Your name' and 'cast out demons in Your name' said in the most serious hour, the hour of Judgment, are also proofs of Christ's Divinity.
In the Lord's discourse about His sitting on the throne of His glory on the Day of Judgment, He said that both the righteous and the wicked will address Him as 'Lord'. The righteous will say: "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?" (Matt. 25:37) In the same manner of speech the wicked will address Him, saying: "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?" (Matt. 25:44) And both of them will receive from Him the sentence of their everlasting destiny, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. It will be an awesome hour in which everyone will address Christ, who will be sitting on the throne of His glory surrounded by all the holy angels, as God (Matt. 25:31). The same applies to the Lord's discourse about the Day of Judgment when the wicked will stand outside, saying: "Lord, Lord, open for us" (Lk. 13:25).
(4) The name 'Lord' was addressed to Christ at the hour of death which is a very awkward hour. The hour of death is everyone's concern, especially the virtuous who are very watchful over their salvation and cautious of every utterance of their speech. We see that a great saint like St. Stephen the first deacon, at the hour of his death, said: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). St. Stephen confessed that Jesus is the Lord into whose hands he commended his spirit. He said these words after he had seen Christ standing at the right hand of God in the highest. It is an explicit confession of Christ's Divinity. Similarly was the confession of the Penitent Thief who said: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Lk. 23:42), and the Lord accepted this title from him and promised him that he would be with Him in Paradise that same day. This means that the belief of the Penitent thief in Christ as the Lord made him worthy of Paradise.
(6) The title 'Lord' was given to Christ by St. Thomas the Apostle in expressing his faith. Having believed, after he had put his finger into the print of the nails, he said: "My Lord and my God!" (Jn. 20:28) It was a very plain statement professing the Divinity of Christ. The Lord Jesus accepted from Thomas this statement and this faith, and reproached him for being late in professing this faith, saying: "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (Jn. 20:29).
(7) When the jailer believed and wanted to be saved, the Apostles Paul and Silas answered him, saying: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household' (Acts 16:3 1). The term 'Lord' here is used in the sense of 'God' because it is connected with faith and salvation which are related to God alone.
(8) The name 'Lord' was attributed to Christ in relation to the glory. St. Peter the Apostle said: "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Pet.3:18). It is obvious that this verse indicates Christ's Divinity. Of course, there is a vast difference between 'a lord' and 'the Lord'. In addition to this, the expression 'our Lord and Saviour' is used only in connection with God, especially when the words 'To Him be the glory both now and forever' are added to it.
St. James the Apostle says in gentle reproach: "My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of g1ory, with partiality" (Jas.2: 1). The Apostle emphasizes that faith should not be without good works. The importance of this verse lies in the terms 'our Lord', and 'the Lord of glory' and in their connection with faith which is used only when talking about God.
(9) The expression 'the Lord of glory' is a proof of Divinity because glory has no lord but God. And the expression 'Lord of glory' is much stronger than the expression 'to Him be glory'. Both these expressions were said about the Lord Jesus Christ. The expression 'the Lord of glory' was repeated in the words of St. Paul the Apostle about the wisdom of God, which none of the rulers of that age knew; "for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor. 2:8).
(10) The Lord Jesus Christ was called Lord of lords. This title is attributed to God only. It is written in the Book of Deuteronomy: "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome" (Deut. 10: 17). We see that the title 'Lord of lords' was given to the Lord Jesus Christ on more than one occasion. In the Book of Revelation, it is written: "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Rev. 19:16), and: "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings" (Rev. 17:14). Who then is the Lord of lords and King of kings but God Himself? And this was said about the Lord Jesus Christ in expressions indicating His Divinity.
(11) The Lord Jesus was also called 'the Lord of the Sabbath'. In His discourse with the Pharisees about deeds of mercy, the Lord Jesus replied to them in a way directing their attention to His Divinity. He said: "But I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple... 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice' ", and concluded His discourse by saying: "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath" (Matt.12:1-8). Everyone knew that the Sabbath was the Lord's Day and that the Law of the Sabbath was a Law givenby God Himself. But behold, the Lord Jesus Christ said that He is Lord even of the Sabbath, which means that He is the Lord of the Lord's Day and the Author of the Law itself. These words cannot be said except by God Himself.
(12) The Lord Jesus Christ was also called 'the Lord our Righteousness'. In the prophecy of Jeremiah the prophet, it is written: " 'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth... Now this is His name by which He will be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:5,6). This prophecy has been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ because He became our righteousness after granting us righteousness through His blood.
(13) Christ was called 'Lord' in the events of performing miracles. St Peter, after walking with Him on the water, was afraid when he saw the boisterous wind. He started to sink so he cried out, saying: "'Lord, save me! 'And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him" (Matt. 14:30,31), "then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God" (Matt. 14:33). We can see here that the title 'Lord' was used at the moment of a miracle. Then worshipping Him and confessing that He was the Son of God happened immediately after, as an indication of His Divinity.
(14) The title 'Lord' was used by St. Elizabeth when she greeted the Virgin Mary. St. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when she heard the Virgin's greeting, and said to her: "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy" (Lk. 1:43). St. Elizabeth said this when she was filled with the Holy Spirit, and feeling unworthy to be visited by the mother of the Lord. And that was a confession of Christ's Divinity.
(15) In the domain of performing miracles, we observe two testimonies from the Apostles. After the miracle of catching a great number of fish, St. Peter, prior to his call, fell down on his knees and worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ, saying: "Depart from me for I am a sinful man, 0 Lord!" (Lk. 5:8) The power of this verse is centered on the phrase 'O Lord which followed a miracle and was accompanied by worship. It is not an ordinary phrase.
The expression I am a sinful man' gives depth to the feeling of unworthiness of having the Holy Lord in his boat.
After the Lord's resurrection, in the miracle of catching a great number of fish, we find the same situation. John said to Peter: "It is the Lord!" (Jn. 21:7), and: "Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, 'Who are You?' knowing that it was the Lord" (Jn. 21:12).
(16) After the miracle of the Resurrection, the term 'Lord' was used numerously:
(i) "Mary Magdolen came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord' (Jn. 20:18).
(ii) "Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord' (Jn. 20:20).
(ii) "The other disciples therefore said to him (Thomas), 'We have seen the Lord" (Jn. 20:25).
(iv) The disciples said: "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" (Lk. 24:34).
(17) The angels used the title 'Lord' in referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, whether in declaring His birth or His resurrection. At His birth the angel said to the shepherds: "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord' (Lk. 2:10,11). On the day of the Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection, the angel said to the women: "You seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen' as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay" (Matt. 28:5,6). Here we see the angel's testimony that Christ is the Lord.
(18) The title 'Lord' was also mentioned in the miracle of the Ascension. St. Mark the Evangelist says: "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs" (Mk. 16:19,20). Here the word 'Lord' is used at the event of Christ's Ascension into heaven, and at His sitting down at the right hand of the Father, and in confirming signs which accompanied the disciples' preaching. This means that the word 'Lord' is not used in an ordinary way but regarding belief in Christ's Divinity.
(19) On many occasions the Evangelists used the word 'Lord' to mean Christ. In the miracle of raising the son of the widow of Nain, St. Luke, speaking about the widow, says: "When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep' (Lk. 7:13). When the disciples experienced the submission of the demons to them, they said to the Lord Jesus Christ: "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name" (Lk. 10: 17). In the miracle of the transfiguration, the disciples said to Him: "Lord, it is good for us to be here" (Matt. 17:4). At the event of Peter's denial, St Luke says: "And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, 'Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times"' (Lk. 22:61). In the story of Zacchaeus, St Luke says: "Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor"' (Lk. 19:8). Also, in chapter 22, verses 31 to 61, the word 'Lord' is attributed to Christ six times.
(20) The title 'Lord' was used for Christ in the other books of the New Testament. It is written in the Book of Acts, at the event of Saul's conversion: "And the Lord said, 7 am Jesus, whom you are persecuting...' So he... said, 'Lord, what do you want me to do?"' (Acts. 9:5,6) The word 'Lord' here is used on an occasion when the Lord appeared in a great light, causing Saul's conversion.
St. Paul the Apostle said: "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they" (Acts. 15:11). The term 6 grace' was repeated many times, such as in: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ... be with you aIl' (2 Cor. 13:14). Undoubtedly, the term 'grace' used with the term 'Lord', in giving the blessing, has Divine implications.
The Apostle also says: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17). Undoubtedly, the fact that every deed or word should be done in Christ's name is an indication of His Divinity as He is the Lord.
The Apostle explained the relation of Christ, as Lord, with God the Father. After having said that to Christ "every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth", he immediately said that "every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10,11), because Christ is "His glory and the express image of His person" (Heb. 1: 3); thence, he who has seen Christ has seen the Father (Jn. 14:9).
(21) Lastly, we point out that before being called 'Lord', 'my Lord', and '0 Lord, Christ attributed this title to Himself He did not object at all to being called 'Lord, Lord', or 'our Lord'. In the story of the passover, we find that when the Lord sent two disciples to prepare Him a colt to ride on, on entering Jerusalem, He said to them: "Say, 'The Lord has need of it' " (Mk. 11:3); (Lk. 19:3 1).
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Rev. 22:20,21). At the Lord Jesus Christ's Second Coming, we receive Him with the phrase: "Come, Lord Jesus!" and until He comes, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us. The word 'Lord' is an explicit testimony that Christ is God because we never say 'our Lord' to human beings.
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