In the first six chapters of Matthew, “Lord” is a designation for God. Then,Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount during which he says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (7:21). The lone exception to the rule before the Sermon on the Mount is the prophecy about John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord.
After that people are calling Jesus Lord. The Centurion with great faith called him Lord. Remember the disciple who wouldn’t immediately follow Jesus because he wanted to bury his father? He called Jesus Lord. The disciples in the boat, Peter on several significant occasions, the blind men, the Canaanite woman, and even King David in prophecy called Jesus Lord. Those who got close enough to converse knew perhaps that calling him Lord wasn’t enough, but they knew to call him Lord.
One person sticks out as refusing to call Jesus Lord. Instead, on the two occasions that he addresses Jesus as anything, he calls him Rabbi. He spent a lot of time with Jesus, but wouldn’t call him Lord. He was one of the twelve, but wouldn’t call him Lord. His name was Judas. We call him the betrayer. To Matthew, he represented the synagogue community who wouldn’t call Jesus Lord. Does what you call Jesus say anything about what you think of him? Do you ever call him Lord? Have you given him that role in your life? You won’t be in the kingdom if you don’t. He is worthy. That’s Life at Work!