What does it mean to be a slave to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
“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.
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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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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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)