March 22


"You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am" (John 13:13, RSV).

By instituting the ordinance of service in the upper room, Jesus endorsed the Application of this double title--Teacher and Lord--to Himself. In so doing, He distinctly claimed to be Lord in the fullest sense. These titles--Teacher and Lord--were widely used in Christ's day to express respect and deference to dignitaries.

Jesus accepted this double title in order to impress His disciples that even though He had performed the menial task of washing their feet as a servant, He was still their Master and Lord. The performance of this humble service to His disciples had not detracted in the least from His dignity.

The Greek word translated "teacher" is also translated in some Bible versions as "master." In the fullest sense, Christ is our master, our teacher, and our Lord. As our great teacher, He excels all other teachers who have ever lived. He was, as Nicodemus confessed, "a teacher come from God" (John 3:2). As the master teacher, Jesus taught truth plainly, yet profoundly; simply, yet sublimely.

After Christ's resurrection, the title, Lord, took on an even deeper significance for the church. It was used to describe Christ's duties as Lord of creation, Lord of all things, Lord of the church, and Lord of our lives (see Acts 10:36; Romans 14:8).

Saint Augustine is quoted to have said of Christ's lordship: "Jesus Christ will be lord of all or He will not be Lord at all." As Wayne A. Detzler observed, "There is no halfway house in the lordship of Christ."--New Testament Words in Today's Language, p. 267. It is our privilege, as followers of Christ, to learn from Him as our teacher and to worship Him as our Lord. "What a teacher was our Lord Jesus Christ! How tenderly did He treat every honest enquirer after truth, that He might gain admission to the sympathies and find a home in the heart."--Manuscript 44, 1894.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I seek to learn Your will while I worship You as teacher and Lord. Amen.