Luke 6: Why do you call me “Lord, Lord?”

Luke 6: Why do you call me “Lord, Lord?”

One mistake that is often made is to teach truth using a text that seems to support the point, but in its context really doesn’t.

For example, all my life I heard Psalm 111:9 used as a proof text not to refer to men as “Reverend.” The argument was that the only time that term was used in the Bible (we all used the KJV) was in Psalm 111:9, and there it was used in respect to the name of God.

While the Bible does speak negatively of religious titles, etc., this is not the text that teaches it. Matthew 23 is far better.

A similar statement is found in Luke 6:46, where Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things that I say?” Nearly every time I have heard this text used is in reference to the refusal of professed religious folks to obey the Lord’s teaching, particularly on water baptism as a condition of salvation (cf Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47). But this isn’t His point. Luke 6:46 is a companion and parallel text to Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

I know this because both texts are found at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount. Not to in any way diminish Jesus’ teaching on the necessity of baptism, but there isn’t one word in that sermon about baptism. Neither is there anything about proper worship, male leadership, or a host of other things in which members of the church place their confidence as “doing the will of the Father / what the Lord says.”

If the average church member paraded the aforementioned list before the Lord, I can only imagine that He would point back to the text of His sermon: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you,” “turn the other cheek,” “do good and lend, expecting nothing in return,” “be merciful,” “do to others as you would have them do to you,” etc.

Then He might say, “These things you should have done without leaving those others undone” (Matt 23:23).

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