Read Matthew 8
It’s no coincidence. The first two people we read about after Jesus’ great sermon on the top of the mountain are castoffs to the religious and powerful of the day. A leper and a Roman. Each comes humbly, willing to accept Jesus Christ’s word as their law, willing to follow His way.
“If you are willing . . .” (v. 2). “I am not worthy . . .” (v. 8).
A leper knows need more than most ever will. By virtue of the very disease that names him, he is forced to live in solitude and shame. He comes to Jesus the Christ, bows down and offers his diseased-ridden, broken self for all that Jesus promises. “I am willing; be cleansed” (v. 3).
A Roman official, commander of 100 gentile men who serve the Roman Empire rather than the God of the Jews, asks for a long-distance miracle as his servant suffers many miles away. “Just say the word,” he bids the King of life, “and my servant will be healed” (v. 8). He is perhaps as un-Jewish as they come. But Jesus is Lord of all who will let Him be, so the servant is healed. His lips form the miracle, speak the words, and it’s done. (See v.13.) Even illness must bow to the King over all.
We find the power of His word, the healing touch of His hand, time after time here in Matthew 8, and those who call Him Lord can’t help but bow down. His gift, His life, are free to all who will follow, all who will bow the knee and bow the heart and confess His Lordship.
But to confess such a thing is a costly endeavor. To call Jesus Lord is to live whole. But it means more. Following Jesus means offering all that we are, like the leper did. It means seeing ourselves in light of our place under His authority, like the Roman centurion did. To follow Jesus is to bow down to Him with our lives and mean what we say when we call Him Lord.
So He leads us to speak up at work for something we know we cannot let go, even at the expense of our popularity, and we follow. He sets a child’s heart to go across the world and serve Him, and we trust Him because He is Lord of all.
To call Jesus Lord is to bow with all that we are and accept all He has to offer. Because He is the King of life. He is the King of my life. Is He the King of yours?