“so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
The name Lord is spoken frequently in Christian and non-Christian circles. We say Praise the Lord. We have the Lord of the Rings, the Lord of the Flies, and Lord Voldemort, but do we really acknowledge and live out what it means that Jesus is Lord? How should the two verses above and the meaning of the title Lord cause us to worship Jesus better this Christmas?
A Lord by definition has power and authority. Consider Philippians 2:10 and what one commentator writes: “Wherever Jesus’ name (and character) has authority, he will be worshiped. Since he is authoritative everywhere, as the next phrase indicates, he will be worshiped everywhere.” Jesus is worshipped as Lord because he has conquered all and rules over all. He rules over every spiritual being in heaven, all human beings on earth, and dead persons under earth. Everywhere there is someone to rule, Jesus the Lord rules them.
Jesus rules because he has triumphed. Jesus was born a baby in order to live a sinless life, die a substitutionary death, be raised and ascend to heaven because he triumphed over sin and death. Now he sits at God the Father’s right hand, ruling and reigning. This triumph calls for our submission.
The language of Philippians 2:10-11 is that of triumph. The bending of the knee was a posture of submission, as was confessing Jesus Christ is Lord. The hymn, therefore, speaks to Jesus as the conqueror of all (see also 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Everyone will one day acknowledge Jesus’ rightful position as Lord. Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10)? God calls for allegiance from our hearts and with our mouths, so worship him with heart and mouth today!