April 9, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 130: Master


"When [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.'" (Luke 5:4,5 NIV)

"Because I said so." 

I'm not sure if current child-rearing experts approve of this classic parental response, but I do think there's some validity to it. Sometimes, and for various good reasons, "because I said so" has to be explanation enough as to why we, as parents, instruct our children to do—or not do, as the case may be—a particular thing.

According to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words (Lawrence O. Richards), "epistates," the Greek word used by Luke each time Jesus is addressed as "Master," "denotes 'commander,' 'director,' or 'chief'" and "implies authority to give orders."

My favorite part of this definition is that Master "implies authority to give orders." Jesus surely has the authority to give orders. But He leaves the option of obedience up to us, because He does not want robots who have no choice but to obey Him; He wants the hearts of people who have been given that choice...and choose Him.

The men and women who first chose Jesus saw in this Master love, compassion, hope, and a new kind of security that caused them to drop everything—fishing nets (Luke 5), jars of wildly expensive perfume (Mark 14), their very lives (Acts 7)—and follow Him.

I wonder what Jesus might be asking me to drop so that I can follow Him more fully. Some net I'm tangled up in? Some prized possession I'm holding onto? Some aspect of my life that's familiar and comfortable and "safe"?

I want to get to the place where I yield to the Master's authority without spiritually kicking and screaming. But on the way to that place, if all else fails—"all else" such as my reasoning, my understanding, my feelings—I can always borrow Simon's basis for obedience: "because You say so."

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!