This morning I was thinking of two different approaches seen in biblical commentaries on the statement that Jesus is “Lord”. The most well known is that Jesus being Lord signifies that Jesus is to be identified with YHWH, called “Adonai” or “LORD” in Jewish writing. Being that Jesus is called “kurios” by the early Christians it is easy to equate him with the God of Israel.

But modern scholarship has seen this as merely messianic. The Caesars were called Lord but Jesus as the Messiah is the true king of the world so he is truly Lord. It is essentially a anti-Caesarian polemic. But does that negate the traditional view? I don’t think so.

Jesus is who Adam, Israel, Saul, David, and Solomon could not be…the real imago Dei. He is the true image of God amongst creation. He is the perfect regent King of the heavenly King. Therefore, he is a son of God unlike any before or after. He is the image of God unlike any who have been made like God. He is Lord unlike Caesar but more so. As the one who shared what it means to be God with the God of Israel only he can be true Lord, true regent, true image of God. Only one who mediated between God and humans can, as the early fathers wrote, make us like God. So Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not in one respect because Jesus actually embodies the God of Israel who is Lord.