At the Last Supper, after washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus said something of singular importance. He said,
You call me master and lord, and you say well for so I am. The American reader is likely to take these two words,
lord, as synonyms; but when the King James translators sat down and wrote this out, the head of a school was a
master. Even to this day in most English schools the person who runs the school is the
headmaster. Consequently, they chose the word
master because to their English readers it would convey the idea of a teacher; and not merely a garden-variety, run-of-the-mill teacher, but a significant master of his subject.
You call me teacher and lord, and rightly so because that is what I am. The words in the Greek mean
a master of a school and
a sovereign lord, so they are not synonyms at all; and they define two very different relationships that a person will have with Jesus Christ. So let’s take a closer look at these two words, these two relationships, and their significance for a Christian.