Alan Baguley, Leicester, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
THE EXPRESSION 'My Lord' is surprisingly only mentioned on a few occasions in the New Testament, at most nine times, if one includes the quotation from Psalm 110. 1 as only one instance, though that is recorded for us four times in the New Testament, Matt. 22. 44; Mark 12. 36; Luke 20. 42, Acts 2. 34. "The Lord said unto My Lord'.
Grouping these occurrences of the expression My Lord we find that two are mentioned prior to the Lord's birth, in addition to David's statement from Psalm 110. 1, previously referred to, we note Elisabeth's question to her cousin Mary 'and whence is this to me, that the mother of My Lord should come to me?' Luke 1. 43. These statements were made in absolute faith in God. David's remark was surely by divine revelation, for it was several hundred years prior to the first advent of the Lord. He could, in company with the Old Testament prophets, see the two horizons of Calvary and the Mount of Olives when, at the latter, the Lord would commence His reign on earth for one thousand years, Zech. 14. 4. David was a rejected man and could enjoy the presence of God in his peculiar circumstances and personalize the expression, 'My Lord'.
Elisabeth had seemed to be spiritually more able than her husband Zacharias, when the Angel came to announce to them the birth of John the Baptist. Whereas Zacharias did not exercise faith, Elisabeth did and the pronouncement was made 'blessed is she that believed', Luke 1.18,45. She was the one chosen to address Mary rather than her husband. Here was a marriage where the wife was the spiritual strength. Humility and reverence are shown by her as she speaks of her Lord when she stated 'and whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?' Luke 1. 43. This is somewhat of a mystery as there had been no word from God prior to this for some four hundred years, and she with her husband were among the faithful remnant listed In Luke Chapters 1 and 2 who were waiting for the consolation of Israel, Luke 2. 25.
These are two mentions of the expression My Lord given in the presence of the risen Saviour; both are recorded in John 20. Mary Magdalene had arrived early at the sepulchre to anoint His body with sweet spices, Mark 16. 1. She found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre and ran to tell Peter and John who came to the grave and found it empty. These two disciples then went away again to their own home, John 20. 1-10. Mary could not be satisfied until she had found His body and the two angels sent by God could not console her as she wept and told them 'they have taken away My Lord, and I know not where they have laid him', vv. 11-13. Here was a woman devoted to the Person of Christ and had the privilege of being the first person to see the Lord on the resurrection morn, Mark 16. 9. Thomas had not been with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them, John 20.19,24 and showed such lack of appreciation of Him by his statement, 'Except I shall see ... I will not believe', v. 25. When the Lord appeared the second time to His disciples, Thomas was present and the Lord desired that Thomas should feel His hands and His side in order to restore him back into fellowship with Himself, v. 27. Thomas did not need to carry out the offer put to him by the Lord but declared 'My Lord and my God', v. 28.
Angels had appeared to Elisabeth in Luke 1 and to Mary Magdalene in John 20. The risen Lord had appeared to Thomas, John 20, and Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9, verses 3-5. The final mention in scripture of the expression My Lord is stated by the former Saul of Tarsus, but now the apostle Paul, in Philippians chapter 3. Paul had shown a seven-fold humbling of self in chapter 3. 7 (he had informed the saints in Philippians of the seven-fold humbling of Christ in Philippians 2). Paul counted as loss for Christ those things which were his natural gains in which he could justifiably have boasted, v. 7. 'Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus My Lord', 3. 8.
The Lord is absent and Paul's situation is similar to our own. He had been saved for about thirty years when he wrote this letter to the Philippians and he wrote 'that I may know Him', 3. 10. The word 'know' in Greek implies come to know, understand completely. This reminds us that our knowledge of Him is a continuing process, This is not just sensing the Lord's presence in the time of adversity - though how blessed this is' Paul had certainly experienced this in Acts 16, but feeling His constant companionship along the way, the fragrance of His presence as we journey along, like Enoch who walked with God for three hundred years, Gen. 5. 22.
This requires, as we have learned from Paul, a complete setting aside of all fleshly desires. May this too be the desire of each believer to gain the moral ground to be able to personalize the expression ‘My Lord'.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Alan Baguley is an elder in the assembly at York Street Gospel Hall, Leicester, and is active in the preaching of the gospel and in teaching the scriptures. Alan has previously contributed to Precious Seed and to other assembly magazines.