"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)

What does 'Lord' mean here?

This statement by Jesus clarifies his perspective regarding those who say they might follow Jesus but do not follow his teachings.

By asking this rhetorical question - "Why do you call me "Lord, Lord and not do what I say?" - Jesus is focusing upon those who act as if they are Jesus' followers, but do not follow Jesus' teachings.

The phrase, "Lord, Lord" is being translated from the repetition of the Greek word κύριος (kyrios), which in this context, according to the lexicon, means "a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master."

In other words, κύριος, κύριος could also be translated to "Master, Master" just as well as "Lord, Lord."

The focal point in this definition is the phrase, "with which servants greet their master." This is critical because Jesus is speaking here to his disciples who had gathered around him. This is confirmed by the description of Jesus as he began this lecture: Looking at his disciples, he said:... (Luke 6:20)

What is a disciple?

By ancient definition, a disciple is a student who also presents themselves as a servant of a spiritual teacher. Their spiritual teacher is to be considered their master - which is why spiritual teachers are often referred to by their students as their "spiritual master."

So Jesus is asking those who were presenting themselves as Jesus' disciples by greeting Jesus as their spiritual master - "Lord, Lord" or "Master, Master" - but, as Jesus states, were not following his instructions.

The phrase, "do not do what I say?" is very clear. The second "do" here is being translated from the Greek word ποιέω (poieō), which means "to make;" "to produce, construct, form, fashion, etc.;" and "to make a thing out of something," according to the lexicon.

This means that Jesus is referring to his students physically following Jesus' instructions. ποιέω (poieō) means, in this context, to perform service - following Jesus' instructions.

What kind of service is this? What were Jesus' instructions? What was he teaching?

We can start with his most important instruction:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
From this foundational instruction we can consider Jesus' clear instruction contained in these two (along with other) statements:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)
"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt. 12:50)
We can thus see from the clear statements above that first and foremost, Jesus is instructing that his followers love the Supreme Being with all their heart, soul and mind - their entire being. Then he is clearly instructing that they do God's will.

But what is God's will?

Clearly, we know from Jesus' teachings that God indeed has a will. This means that God is a person - as only a person can have a will and purpose.

And the fact that Jesus is teaching his students to do God's will means by default that God's will must be different than their own will.

This means that God is not only a person who has a will, but is a Person who has a will different from our will.

How is that? Those of us living within the physical world are here because we decided we didn't want to do God's will. At some point in our past - each of us fell from the spiritual realm (our home) and took on these physical bodies in the physical world.

The spiritual realm is that place where God's will is done, and the citizens of the spiritual realm are loving God and their lives are centered around pleasing God (doing His will).

The reason we got kicked out of the spiritual realm is because we decided we didn't want to love the Supreme Being - our Best Friend - any longer. We wanted to chase our own dreams instead. We wanted to be independent of Him. We wanted to do our own will. We wanted to do what we wanted, not what He wanted.

So He cut us loose. He set up a virtual universe where we could pretend to be someone that we are not for a while. Because we really cannot leave the Supreme Being's presence, He set up a virtual world where we could be in the illusion that He doesn't exist - or if He does exist, He exists to give me whatever I want - whatever I pray for.

This forgetting the existence of the Supreme Being is granted by the Supreme Being because He loves us, and He wants us to choose to love Him. He never forces Himself upon any of us.

This is the perfection of love and kindness, which is present in the Supreme Being. No one could ever love us as much as God does.

So Jesus is trying to teach his disciples to turn their lives around. His teachings are about changing their consciousness. He is trying to teach them to give their lives to the Supreme Being and do God's will, rather than remain focused upon doing their own will.

What is this called?

It is called selfishness or self-centeredness. When we are focused on our own happiness, we are being self-centered. This is misery. When we live in this consciousness, we are empty and unfulfilled.

A person who loves another is focused upon the happiness of the one they love. And when that person is God, the person who is loving God is completely fulfilled and completely happy.

Jesus is trying to bring this happiness to his disciples. He loves them and wants them to be happy.

Jesus' teachings and his life also illustrate what God's will is. Throughout the life of Jesus as portrayed in the Books of the New Testament we find he gave so many instructions about how to live one's life in a way that is pleasing to the Supreme Being. He teaches them to not put their faith in the things of this world, as they are like building a house on the seashore at low tide. He teaches them to focus upon God - "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...."

Jesus also teaches them to glorify the Supreme Being - to praise God. We find this as Jesus tells his students how to pray:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'
(Matt. 6:6-10)
Of course, his prayer continues, but these verses provide clarity on Jesus' instructions. Jesus is instructing his students not to make a show of their prayers - or their relationship with God. He is telling them that they need to establish a private loving relationship with God.

Did Jesus teach his followers to praise God?

Jesus' prayer - 'The Lord's Prayer' - also instructs his students to praise God's Holy Name. That is the meaning of "hallowed by Your Name." To "hallow" someone's name means to praise and revere that Name. The word "hallow" is being translated from the Greek word ἁγιάζω (hagiazō), which means to venerate or consecrate. This is also related to the fact that Jesus, and John the Baptist before him, as well as David, utilized and were described with the accolade: "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord."

These indicate that part of Jesus' teachings was to praise God's Holy Names. God's Name can be praised in song, with prayer, or with incantation. Simply repeating any of God's Holy Names brings our consciousness in focus towards God. By praising God's Names - even by simply saying "Praise be to God" (ברך אלהים (barak 'elohiym)) as David often did within his Psalms - focuses our consciousness on our Best Friend and Companion, the Supreme Being.

The next statement by Jesus in his suggested prayer once again confirms Jesus' instructions about the importance of using one's life and performing service to please God:
"Your will be done"
What is God's will? Jesus' life and teachings clarified God's will. This is because Jesus is God's representative.

As we've indicated above, Jesus asked us to focus our lives upon God. And he showed us with his life how to do it: Through prayer, activities, words and the choices we make for our lives.

This is God's will: God wants us to renew our loving relationship with Him. God wants us back. He wants us to come home because He knows this and only this will make each of us truly happy.