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Resurrection Reverberations – Radical Redefinition

Every Knee Shall BowWho Said It…Ronald Sider

Ron shook North American Christians in 1977 with his book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.  Since then he’s continued to live in inner-city Philadelphia, promoting community development, writing provocative books, and publishing Prism magazine.

Sider, raised in Canada, is the professor of theology and culture at Eastern Seminary, and the founder and president of Evangelicals for Social Action.

What He Said…Radical Redefinition

Before the Resurrection, Jesus’ followers called him “Master,” “Rabbi,” “Teacher.” Afterward they called him “Messiah,” “Son of God,” “Lord.”

This word lord (Greek kurios) was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to translate the word Yahweh—the name for the one God at the center of Jewish monotheism. It became a frequently used title for Jesus.

Paul applied to Jesus the words from Isaiah 45:23, which the monotheistic prophet had used for Yahweh.  After mocking the idols, Yahweh insisted that He alone was God: “Every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to my name.”

The rabbinically trained Paul—an uncompromising monotheist in his day—took those words from the mouth of Yahweh and applied them to Jesus, declaring that “at the name of Jesus every knew will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11). The carpenter is kurios—God!

Adapted from The Gospel with Extra Salt (Judson, 2000)

Prayer for the Week: Please show me, Lord, how the reality of Easter should impact my day-to-day life.

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