Godspeak: “What’s In [His] Name?” – Kurios
In Shakespeare’s most famous play, Juliet says of Romeo: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word, would smell as sweet.” We have usually taken Juliet’s words to mean that the name of something doesn’t really affect its essence; Romeo, by any other name, would still be her beloved (especially, as he comes from the sworn enemy of Juliet’s family). But, what about God and Jesus? In Scripture, they go by many names. Rather than not affecting them, though, the names God has given us for Himself and the names we have used of God and Jesus say a lot about their nature. On the heels of Easter, we begin this series by looking at the name “kurios” – a Greek (therefore, New Testament) name used for Jesus. In English, “kurios” is translated as “Lord.” But, it has a multi-depth meaning, depending on how it’s used.
Monday, April 9: “Kurios” as “master”
Read Matthew 20:1-16 – the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.
- How is “kurios” understood as a “master” in this context?
Now read Matthew 12:1-8.
- What does it mean that Jesus is the “kurios” of the Sabbath?
Tuesday, April 10: “Kurios” as “controller”
Read Luke 14:15-24 (focusing especially on v. 21).
- How is “kurios” understood in a “controlling” sense, here?
Now read Matthew 10:24-25.
- Consider this – we are not “above” Jesus, just as Jesus is not “above” the Heavenly Father.
- However, compare how “kurios” is used in Luke 14 to how Jesus (as our “kurios”) acts in John 13.
- How can Jesus be our “kurios” and servant at the same time?
- What does that mean for us?
Wednesday, April 11: “Kurios” as a form of “respect” and something else
Read Matthew 25:14-30 (focusing especially on v. 20) – the Parable of the Talents.
- “Kurios” in this case is offered as a sign of respect, but also an acknowledgement of the “Lord’s” – what?
Now read Matthew 8:23-27 (focusing especially on v. 25) – Jesus Calms the Storm.
- As in the Matthew 25 reading, “kurios” is used by the disciples as a title of respect. And, Jesus has the same thing the “lord” of Matthew 25 has – the question is: How does He use it?
Read Mark 7:24-30 (focusing especially on v. 28) – The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman.
- Note – the woman refers to Jesus as “kurios”/”Lord,” as a sign of respect. But, she won’t take Jesus’ “no” for an answer!
- Consider – what this says about the kind of relationship our “kurios” has with us, that He would allow His decisions to be challenged and how He acts as a result of her challenge!
Thursday, April 12: “Kurios” as a form of respect – to us?!
Read Acts 16:29-34.
- Here, the jailer refers to Paul and Silas as “kurios”/”Sirs.”
- Consider – though, what Paul and Silas DO with this respectful title given to them. Where do they turn the jailer’s attention?
Friday, April 13: “Kurios” as “Lord” – of what?
Read Luke 2:8-12.
- The word, “kurios” is used here by the angel in announcing Jesus’ birth (v. 11).
- What is Jesus being declared the “Lord” of, here?
Saturday, April 14: “Kurios” as “Lord” – a most complete definition
Read Philippians 2:5-11.
- Consider – our attitude should mimic Jesus’ in what ways? (c.f., vv. 6-8)
- Because Jesus did this – perfectly, completely, for our sake – what did God do for Him? (c.f. v. 9)
- Jesus IS the “kurios” above all “kurioses.” What does that mean for you and for the world?