Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
It's a fact of life: the meanings of words change.
For example, at Christmas we heard people sing, "Don we now our gay apparel." The word "gay" used to mean festive. In the musical West Side Story, Maria sings, "I feel pretty and witty and gay." In that number she was talking about her happiness, not her sexual preferences.
Recently, students in the Canyons School District in Utah named the cougar as their top choice for school mascot at their new school. Some people complained. They complained because the term "cougar," at least in some circles, is an uncomplimentary term to describe a woman, who is seeking a younger man.
Officials at the school district decided a better name for the school's animal representative would be "The Chargers."
It was a decision which garnered far more attention than if they had let matters be.
Still, it makes the point: words change in their meaning, including the word "Savior."
Most readers of the Daily Devotion will correctly acknowledge Jesus as their Savior. By that they mean Jesus is God's sinless Son, who was born into this world to take our place and rescue us from damnation. True Man and true God, He was our Substitute under the Law; He resisted all temptation to sin and then defeated death. All this He did to redeem our sinful souls. Now, all who are given faith in Him are forgiven and saved.
But that is not always what others mean when they use the word, Savior.
For some, Savior means Jesus is a leader, whose example we should follow.
For some, Savior means Jesus is a trailblazer and, if we do as He did, we can become our own savior.
For some, Savior means Jesus is a motivator, who inspires us to be better than we were.
For some, Savior means Jesus is a bringer of social change.
The list of variations and interpretations to the work and Person of Jesus of Nazareth are numerous, and they are, insofar as they disagree with Scripture, wrong.
These descriptions are put forth by those who bend, fold, spindle and mutilate the Word. As Isaiah said, they are those who "call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
To those who would try to cloud the clear message of salvation, God gives this verdict: "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own sight!"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me the grace and faithfulness to follow the Savior of Scripture. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries