We have lost this incredibly important concept of Jesus as Master and I am 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.
That’s the center of all New Testament teaching. It is inherent in saying Jesus is Master (Lord) that you are a slave who understands that obedience is the necessary response.
The reality of the Messiah’s Mastership has been obscured by hiding the word “slave.” We need more “slave talk” in the church.
Jesus is not my own genie who jumps out of His little bottle when I rub it and ask Him for what I want.
My life is not defined by my own wants, my own will, my own desires, my own ambitions, but by His will, His desires, and His purposes. This is the basic truth of discipleship — Jesus is my Master, I am His slave.
You start to study slavery, how did it work? The slave market, right? Slaves are on a block, for sale. You want to buy a slave; you go into the slave market. You pick your slave and then you pay for your slave and then you own your slave, and then you control your slave, and then you provide for your slave, and then you protect your slave, and then you discipline your slave, and then you reward your slave. That’s slavery.
So we have been chosen. We have been bought. We are owned. We are provided for: “My God shall supply all your needs.” We are protected, are we not? We are disciplined. We are rewarded–“Well done, good and faithful slave.” All those concepts within the magnificent realm of what it means to be a disciple are tied to the concept of being a slave.
Let us say “I’ve got good news for you. You have a loving Master who is all-wise, compassionate, generous, powerful, resourceful, protective, kind, merciful, forgiving, who takes you from being just a slave to making you a slave that is also a friend … Are you ready for this one? … and takes you from being a friend to a son, and not just a son but a joint-heir. He is the Master. You are the slave. Sound good?”
If you follow the rest of the story in the New Testament scripture, you become a citizen of His Kingdom. No slave in the Roman Empire could be a citizen. Couldn’t own anything. Didn’t have any rights. Couldn’t give testimony to a court of law. Couldn’t be defended in court.
This is a different kind of slavery. He provides everything you need; makes you an intimate friend and gives you full disclosure of everything that’s on His heart. First Corinthians 2:16, “We have a mind of the Messiah.” He’s revealed it to us on the pages of Scripture, and He makes us sons, and He makes us heirs and joint-heirs with His own. He makes us reign with Him, citizens of His glorious kingdom. And yet we are slaves.