Lord: The Crown Jewel of Jesus’ Names


The Crown Jewel of Jesus’ Names

Jesus is Lord” or “Lord Jesus” are phrases all too easy for us to ignore. “Lord” seems to be the lowly pet rock or step-child of Jesus’ names, garden variety, misunderstood, or forgotten. But “Lord” is no pet rock, no step-child in Scripture. It’s the crown prince, yes, the crown jewel in Jesus’ diadem of names.

I am persuaded that if we knew the real significance of the title “Lord” we’d use it with wonder, awe, and worship. “Lord” is Jesus’ supreme title. Luke, above all other Gospels, repeatedly and skillfully uses this verbal diamond “Lord” (Κύριος) to depict Jesus’ august identity.  Let me show you one example.

First, the Greek word, Κύριος, “Lord,” is what the Greek version of the Old Testament[1] uses to translate God’s holy name YHWH from the Hebrew language (See Isaiah 40:9-10). So, the God of Israel is known as YHWH in the Hebrew Bible and is known as Κύριος, “LORD” in the Greek version of that same Bible.

Second, the writers of the New Testament[2] continue to use the exact same title of Lord (Κύριος) for Israel’s God. For example, when the angel Gabriel explained to Zechariah what his son John the Baptist would do, he used Lord/Κύριος to identify Israel’s God:

He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord (Κύριος) their God. Lk. 1:16

Here is a clear example of how “Lord” (Κύριος) refers to Israel’s God. So, in the New Testament, the name of Israel’s God is the “Lord.”

Amazingly, and third, in the very next chapter (Lk 2:11), Luke uses the exact same word “Lord” (Κύριος) to refer to the newborn Jesus.  Observe what the angels told the shepherds:

Unto you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Κύριος).

The angels are referring to Jesus. The angels are identifying the infant Jesus as a Savior, as the Christ, and as the “Lord.”  So, according to Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is the Lord, the embodiment of the Lord God of Israel. The God of Israel has become a human being.

Luke’s use of the divine title “Lord” to identify the newborn Jesus is not due to carelessness. Luke repeatedly[3] deploys Κύριος throughout his Gospel and Acts to identify Jesus of Nazareth. For Luke, Jesus is identified by the supreme title for God in Scripture, the Lord

So, the title “Lord” is hardly a step-child or garden variety pet rock; it is the crown jewel in Jesus’ diadem of names.

 Paul agrees:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord[4] (Κύριος) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.[5] Romans 10:9

Elsewhere, he writes:

Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Κύριος), to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

The exalted name God gave Jesus because of His volunteer death on a lowly cross, the name that is above every name, the name at which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, is the name “Lord” (Κύριος).

 Peter also concurs:

This is the message God sent for the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (Κύριος). Acts 10:36

Let’s shift the name Lord” from the lowly status of pet rock or step-child to the position of crown prince, the crown jewel in the diadem of Jesus’ names. Let’s use “Lord” with wonder, awe, and praise.

 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Let’s Angels Prostrate Fall;

Bring Forth the Royal Diadem,

And Crown Him Lord of all.



[1] called, “the Septuagint” or “LXX”

[2] also written in Greek

[3] I’ve counted at least 15 times that Luke used “Lord” (Κύριος) to identify Jesus.

[4] Observe that Paul does not say, “If you confess that Jesus is the Savior” or “If you confess that Jesus is the Christ.”

[5] Observe that salvation is contingent on believing in the divinity of Jesus.

Tim Cole