Bible Society of South Africa

Our Lord and our God – 29 September 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 20:28GNBOpen in Bible reader

The meaning of the Greek word “Kurios” used by Thomas when he said “My Lord,” depends on the context in which it is used. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well she called him just “sir”. In the old Greek culture, it was used to depict the head of the household. It can also be translated as owner. Slaves and servants used the word “kurios” to address their masters.

The most important use of Kurios in the New Testament is when it is used as equal to the Old Testament “Jahwe” to indicate that Jesus is God indeed. In the Gospel according to John, kurios is almost exclusively used as the ordinary word “sir”. It is only after the resurrection that there is a change to “Lord’ to show that Jesus is God. John recognised the resurrected Jesus as so much more that just “sir”.

Thomas was absent when Jesus appeared to his disciples for the first time after he was raised from the dead. When they told him about it, his reaction was something like: tell me another story. Their story seemed so far-fetched that Thomas wanted to see the scars of the nails in His hands himself and even wanted to touch the scars, otherwise, “I will not believe”.

When the disciples were together again a week later, Thomas encountered the living Jesus. He is so overwhelmed that he did not even take up the offer that Jesus made to come and put his finger in the scars. All he was able to say with great reverence was, “My Lord and my God.” The fact that Jesus was raised from the dead brought the perspective that this Jesus whom they were used to calling “sir” was actually God Himself.

To us, Jesus is all of these things: He is the head of our household, the Church. He is also our master and owner, but above all, he is the Lord God.

Prayer: Thank you for being Kurios to me with all its meanings. You are my master and the owner of my whole being, but above all, my Lord and my God. Amen

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