Let us consider the word “master” (usually translated Lord). So here is a fundamental question: “What is the foundational reality that defines what it means to be a disciple? What is the fundamental reality that distinguishes the believer’s relationship to Jesus? What is our great confession in three words?” Jesus is Lord (Master).
In fact, if you want to be saved, Romans 10:9 and 10 says, “You confess Jesus as Lord (Master).” Kuriosis (Lord or Master) the corresponding word to doulos. Kurios is a title and means “master.” Doulos is “slave.” You can no more eliminate doulos from the believer’s relationship to the Master than you could eliminate kurios.
We hear a lot about the issue of the Lordship of the Messiah to try to help people who think you can become a disciple without acknowledging Jesus as Lord (Master), which is an impossible thing. Nonetheless it’s advocated. And the simple answer to that is this. If He is Lord, which is to say He is Master, then I am His slave. There’s no such thing as a master with no slaves or a slave with no master. And 1 Corinthians 12:3 says, “We call Jesus Master (Lord) by the Spirit of God.”
As our Master, Jesus is our teacher. It is from our Master that we learn as disciples. A disciple means to be a learner.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15 —For this we say to you by the word of the Master, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Master, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
- Acts 11:16 — “And I remembered the word of the Master, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
- Acts 20:35 — “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Master Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
- 1 Corinthians 7:10 —But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Master, that the wife should not leave her husband