We've all seen the bumper sticker or the t-shirt that reads: "Jesus is Lord."
While I believe that to be true, I've wondered why I've never seen a bumper sticker on the back of a minivan in traffic that reads "Jesus is Master Teacher."
It should not read, "Jesus is Teacher." There are many good teachers out there. It should read "Master Teacher" - he is above all other teachers that have ever lived. When we say we are disciples of Jesus we are acknowleding that he is our Master Teacher - there is no other by which we should life from.
I think it's because we get the Jesus as Lord and Savior thing (a salvific understanding of the gospel) pretty well - starting from when we're old enough to sit in those little squatty chairs and eat Graham Crackers in Sunday school - but we miss the Jesus as Master Teacher element (a transformed-life-in-process understanding of the gospel). Somehow - though I am not sure how - Lord and Teacher got separated in our theology - and it desperately needs to be joined back together.
I've arrived late to the show. This idea of seeing the whole gospel (Jesus as Lord and Jesus as Master Teacher) is something I've just recently discovered in the past three years or so. And it has changed my understanding of a centered, committed life in Jesus completely.
When we see God and his son Jesus only as our Divine Lifeguard on duty and not as our Master Teacher (the Maestro, rabbi, teacher of every area of my life, etc.) guiding and directing our lives, can we really comprehend discipleship enough to live it out?
So next time you're in traffic and you see that bumper sticker or you are in the mall and see someone wearing that T-shirt ask yourself, "yeah, but is he also my Master Teacher?"
It's only when we join Lord with Master Teacher do we have the foundation for discipleship to begin in our lives.