Have you as an adult ever been called by your full name? Maybe by a grandparent, parent, or spouse? If you have experienced this sometimes-startling call, you know the power it has to stop you in your tracks and grab your attention. It has not happened often, but I cannot tell a lie, it has happened to me.
Over the many years of listening to sermons, lectures or simply reading scripture, my attention is peaked when the speaker or author refers to Jesus as our “Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. For me, there is a sense of having to stop and pay attention to what is being said and who it is being said to.
Three times in Peter’s second letter to the church he speaks of our “Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (1:11; 2:20; 3:18) The context of these words in time and place of writing would likely have had more impact on the hearts and minds of the people than they do today. In our abundantly different contexts of our Western culture, many “Christians” have distanced themselves from the reality of Christ as Lord in their lives, the need for a Saviour, and for some, even turning a blind eye to the name of Jesus Christ all together.
Peter communicates through his words that Jesus was so much more than just an extraordinary human being, He was the incarnate Son of God, coequal to and coeternal with God the Father. Understanding the triune nature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit has been an ongoing quest of humankind since the day Christ entered this our world as an infant. For you and me, understanding who Jesus is through reading scripture strengthens and grows the relationship we have with him.
When I hear the name of Jesus in this context, I am reminded that He is the Lord of my life, that I need to live in obedience to his will and calling, to carry on his mission through the work and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am forever reminded that as my Saviour, Jesus paid the price for all my sins, that only through him may I have a relationship with our Father in heaven.
While Peter speaks to many different powerful themes in his letter (the authority, truthfulness, and inspiration of the word; salvation, judgment, and the final days to come) the foundation on which our faith is built is the relationship we have with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
In chapter 3:1 Peter states his purpose for writing this letter along with his first. They are written “as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.” The written words of Peter are reminders for the people of the church to “stir up” or “wake up” the truths (the foundations) of their faith that had been taught to them. “I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.” (2 Peter 3:2)
Words like “Lord” and “Saviour” certainly stimulate my mind when I hear or read them. How do you feel when the name of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is spoken in word or read in scripture? Are you reminded of the truth of the gospel message that has the power to forgive, save, and promise eternal life? Stop, listen, and reflect on the gift we have in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Allow the words of scripture to stir within you, to inspire, comfort and challenge you, then share those thoughts with those around you.