Jesus is Lord…and Why That Matters When it Comes to Male Privilege, part 1
I grew up in a really great church. The preaching was inspired, the people were wonderful and we had some gnarly stained glass in our sanctuary. More importantly for me, through the ministry of our church I met Jesus. Remarkable Jesus. Savior of my life. One night at 6th grade summer camp, in a manufactured teepee of all places, I asked Jesus to save me from my sins.
Mission accomplished, right? Done and locked in for all time?
Sorta. When I hit college, I learned about Jesus’ other title. Because while Jesus is indeed our Savior, he’s also our Lord. In fact, the New Testament calls Jesus Savior 24 times and calls him Lord 694 times. That’s right, if we’re scoring at home, Jesus is more 29 times more Lord than Savior.
To be sure, the term “Lord” in today’s vernacular has some baggage associated with it. Calling someone “Lord” conjures up images of carriages and manor houses, stodgy Brits and, worse, tyrannical rulers.
But the Lord I met in college is a far cry from our human version. Jesus as Lord is at once ruler, leader and guide. But he’s also servant, healer and shepherd. He’s complex, our Jesus. Following him as Lord guarantees a life full of deep joy, worthy struggle and all-around adventure.
I love the text in Luke 5:1-11, the one where Simon and his buddies are washing their nets after a fruitless night of fishing. Jesus, teaching nearby, gets into Simon’s boat and has him head back out to fish. It’s really preposterous. In Simon’s professional judgement, and remember, he’s fished that lake since he was a boy, there are no fish.
What happens next is staggering. Not only are there fish, there’s a deadly amount of fish. Nets start to break and boats start to sink. And in the middle of this miraculous chaos, Simon realizes something: Jesus, this Rabbi, knows more about fishing then he does. Like way more. And, convicted that he’s no longer the most qualified person in his boat to run his own life, Simon gets on his knees and confesses to Jesus’ Lordship.
Here, then, is the lesson from Simon:
Everything I’ve got belongs to the Lord Jesus.
More to the point, Jesus gets to decide what happens with everything that I’ve got in my life. Everything.
The list includes material possessions: my food, my car, my iPad, my house. It also includes my time, my relationships, even my plans for the future. Who I hang out with, where I live, what I study, which movies I go to, how I parent and how I spend my money. Each of these things belongs to Jesus and as Lord he deserves and demands a say in how I use what I have.
You know what else makes the list? Male privilege.
So what’s the link between the Lordship of Jesus and this concept of male privilege? I think it’s this:
Men, as we follow Jesus, our joyful task is to discern what it looks like to surrender our socially-granted male privilege for Jesus to do with what he will.
Intrigued? I’ll fill out the “what it looks like” and “what he will with it” parts on Monday.
What about you? What does following Jesus as Lord look like in your life?