Why it matters: Jesus the Messiah is the Master over all of creation and reigns supreme over everything in the created order. Does Jesus reign supreme in my Life? Jesus wants to know.
In Colossians 1:18 Paul says that the Messiah is the head of the body. Then he exhorts me to make sure that I give the Messiah priority attention like I do with my own head and face. This verse concludes, “that in all things He may have the preeminence (or first place).” The word preeminence is the Greek word proteuo, which means “to be first in rank or influence.” It comes from the word protos, meaning “foremost in time, order, or importance.” We see this word in the English word prototype—“the first type or model of something.” It is therefore the idea of being first, and in that sense, holding the number one position in the order of things.
Now, preeminence simply means that the Messiah, as the head of all the disciples, should be held in the highest esteem in my life. As I think about His exalted status, there ought to well up within me an appreciation for His supreme position in the universe. In the priority structure of everything, He is in first place. He is the preeminent One.
If there are slaves then there is a … Now there’s a corresponding word that needs mention as well, and that is the word “master”. 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 Master (aka Lord).” Kuriosis the corresponding word to slave, i.e., 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.
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.”
The scope of Jesus the Messiah’s pre-eminence — Jesus rules over all people Jesus rules in every case, over everything and everyone. He is the Master. PERIOD!
- John 17:2 (NASB) — Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
- Matthew 25:31–32 (NASB) — “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”
- Romans 10:12 (NASB) — 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Master is Master of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.