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Jesus is not my own genie who jumps out of His little bottle when I rub it and ask Him for what I want.

Jesus is not my own genie who jumps out of His little bottle when I rub it and ask Him for what I want.

Master Jesus

We have lost this incredibly important concept of Jesus as Master and I as His slave. We have a man-centered emphasis in “the church”. We have man-centered theology that dominates evangelicalism, in which we talk about Jesus coming along as a kind of a buddy who loves you and wants to satisfy all your desires and give you everything you want.

But that’s not what the new testament teaches. What scripture teaches is not that you’re Master and He’s your slave; it’s that He’s Master and you’re His slave.

Are the followers of Jesus slaves?

It is hard to get the issue of being a slave in my mind. In the Greek-speaking world of the first century AD, there was a critical difference between free (eleutheros) and slave (doulos). Each represented a very familiar legal status, with all the social and cultural baggage that implied.

That distinction is rather hard to follow in English translations precisely because outright legal slavery does not exist in Western society, and the concept is absent from our language, except in the loosest metaphorical sense.

As detestable as it sounds, I am going to be a slave. I can be a slave to sin and the religious legalistic culture OR I can be a slave to Jesus. I am going to be owned. Jesus is clear on this. I get to choose.

Believers as slaves of God — We are owned by God: What makes this such a thorny problem is that in its various forms, doulos is a common word in the New Testament, most prominently in Matthew, Luke, and Revelation. Strong’s Concordance gives 126 instances through the whole Testament, including every occurrence that English commonly renders as “servant,” as in “Well done, thou good and faithful doulos.” The Book of Revelation was revealed to God’s doulos, John. Jude, author of the Epistle, was a doulos of Jesus the Messiah. In the Magnificat, Mary praised God for his mercy towards her, his doula.

  • Romans 6:22 — But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
  • Matthew 6:24 — “No one can be a slave to two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be a slave to God and wealth.”
  • Romans 1:1 — Paul, a slave of the Messiah Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the good news of God.
  • Colossians 3:23–24 — Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Master rather than for men, knowing that from the Master you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Master the Messiah whom you are a slave to.
  • James 1:1 — James, a slave of God and of the Master Jesus the Messiah, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
  • 1 Peter 2:16 — Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as slaves of God.
  • 2 Peter 1:1 — Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus the Messiah, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus the Messiah.

When I confess Jesus as Master, I confess myself to be a slave — A slave who is a friend and a son and an heir and a joint-heir and a citizen of that eternal kingdom, and who is loved, having been captured, enslaved. His captor is a despot of love and a master of mercy, and one day He’ll gather us in, Matthew 25:21, and say, “Well done, good and faithful slave.”

Jesus Slave
Slave

In Luke 17, once you understand this, you’ll start to see this unfold as you go through the Scriptures and the good news books and through the rest. You can go through the book of Revelation, there are references to believers in every age up until the last age before the return of the Messiah, and we’re identified as slaves. So it’s a long-lasting identification. 

Luke 17:7, “Which of you having a slave” … This is because it’s the actual slave in this little illustration; it’s translated correctly … “Which of you having a slave plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat?’” No, no; would he not say to him, “Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself”…Go get cleaned up…“and serve me while I eat and drink and afterward you may eat and drink.” 

That’s what slaves did, right? They served their masters. He doesn’t thank the slave because he did the things commanded, does he? He’s not like above and beyond the call of duty to be obedient, is it? To do that which pleases your master?

“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say this,“We’re unworthy slaves, we only did what we should have done.’” Wow! Kind of deals a death-blow to the self-esteem notion, doesn’t it?

You say, “Well, I thought we were free in the Messiah.” You are — you are free to do what your Master desires.

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What does it mean to be a slave to Jesus?

Image result for slave of jesus

Jesus is my Master. Jesus owns me. I am His slave. I should be happy with that being enough. This is the normal life of a disciple of Jesus.

Jesus teaches me. Jesus is serious. Jesus means this and certainly expects that I get it. I am chosen, bought, owned, subjected, dependent, disciplined, rewarded, provided for, protected, and expected to be obedient.

Should we say “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done”?

We are a slave of Jesus. Jesus is our Master (aka Lord). Jesus owns us.

I have to be clear about that. Of course, slavery is detestable to us. We all hate slavery. We condemn it. We fight against it.

Yet, Jesus and all the disciples were clear that is what we are though. I’m going with Jesus on this.

As a slave, my role isn’t to take care of myself when the day is done. My work is keep at being a slave and taking care of my Master. A slave is who I am. If I was a servant, I could work for several people.

Am I a devoted slave of Jesus, the Messiah?

My role is one of a slave. I am a devoted slave of Jesus, the Messiah. Really? Yes, a slave. I belong to Him. Jesus is my Master. Jesus owns me.

I am on assignment. My Master gives me jobs to do.  Some days I get distracted but Jesus has given me a mission to complete. I am authorized to proclaim God’s words and acts.

So are you. We all are. I am not unique in this regard. Will I focus on what God has given me to do? That is today’s question. That is every day’s question.

What does Jesus think of being a “servant leader”? Hint: Can you say “Argle Bargle”?

There is a lot being said, by “leaders”, about being servant leaders. I have a friend that has written a book on it. He runs a truly great company. It seems to work for him. The premise is you can be a leader as long as you are a servant.

What does Jesus think? Can you say “Argle Bargle”? Argle Bargle is meaningless talk. It is hokum. Jesus isn’t enamored with my being a leader who serves. Jesus calls on me to be a servant or a slave. Jesus thinks it is Argle Bargle to be called a leader.

Please take a minute to read what Jesus says about this.

What is obedience? What does that require?

Love and Obey

Obedience is a willingness to submit ourselves to the will of God and to put it into effect. Scripture emphasizes the necessity for us to follow the commandments of Jesus, gives examples and reasons why we should, and describes the rewards that will be ours for obedience.

There is a reality of being a slave. You only have one Master. Jesus is clear on this when he says you can’t be a slave to God and money (aka wealth). Jesus drives the point home in many places. Being a slave is different from being a servant. I am the slave of Jesus.

Are we called to be servant-leaders?

Radical Jesus

Jesus isn’t enamored with our being a leader who serves. Jesus calls on us to be a servant or a slave. Jesus thinks it is not right for us to be called a leader. Being a servant is enough.

Jesus isn’t running a business and Jesus doesn’t want leaders or servant leaders. Our role is to obey God’s commandments and love. That is enough!

Who is the ruler over all?

Lord (Master) is a title that signifies Jesus the Messiah’s absolute authority and the basis on which people may know him. It is especially associated with his resurrection and return.

Jesus is the anointed Messiah, the King of God’s country.

We know Jesus wants us to be slaves. That is clear.

What is obedience? Why is obedience demanded of God’s people?

We know it. Obeying runs against the grain of what we want to do. Jesus demands that we be obedient slaves. That doesn’t sound like fun. It is demeaning. NO one wants to be a slave. I am not different in that regard.

There is good news. Jesus gives us all the power to be obedient. For the joy that was before Him, Jesus endured death and humiliation to set us free. Free to be obedient.

Am I a Slave or a Servant? Does it Matter?

Image result for slave of jesus

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave (dŏulŏs) above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave (dŏulŏs) like his master.” ~Jesus | Matthew 10:24 

Am I a slave or a servant? Yes! I am both. It isn’t an “either/or” issue. I am afraid, however, we ignore the slave part a lot. We love to talk about being a servant. Books, videos, sermons, songs and more. We even created this new thing called a “servant-leader”.

Does it matter? Yes, it matters a great deal. Being a slave is the essence of the life of a disciple of Jesus. It is not to be ignored. It is essential.

I want to talk to you about a word? Really? A word? A word in the Scripture that says something that has not been heard much in “the church” in America, or the English speaking part of the world. I’m in shock, really, that it hasn’t seen much visibility. It seems it is somewhat of a taboo issue. We do need clarity on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and to follow him.

Am I working for myself? Who am I working for?

God's Work, our hands

God’s Work, our hands

My work is not for myself. My work is for our God. I am a slave to my Master Jesus. My service is to God and not to my employer.

That allows me to have an amazing attitude and smile when others might not. It allows me to go beyond what others might do since my mission is to please Jesus.

And so, with Joshua I say “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

God has a goal for me. It is not my goal. No matter what, I am really serving God.

It is that simple. That makes all the difference in everything I do.

Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would the Messiah. Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of the Messiah, do God’s will from your heart. Serve with a good attitude, as to the Master and not to people, knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Master. | Ephesians 6:5-8



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Are you a slave to sin?

Kiara Clemonts is an intern in our Heroes Summer Internship program. She shares what she learned about God’s liberating truth in John chapter 8 at our morning devotion time.

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Is Jesus a lackey to the Sabbath? What is more important, rules or the Ruler?

Jesus is in ControlWhat is more important? Rules and regulations? Or the Ruler?

Jesus deals with the problem of “being religious” head on. The religious elites were giving his disciples a hard time about breaking a rule. Jesus establishes that He is in charge.

That is the central issue to be dealt with.

  • Do I believe Jesus is in charge (the Master) and act on it?
  • Will I believe it today or default to religious rules and procedures?
  • Am I willing to be a slave of Jesus?

God is God. He is absolutely in control. He has given all authority to His son Jesus.

“The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!” ~~Jesus Matthew 12:6-8 (The Message Bible)

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