What matters the most: 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.
God’s goal: 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.
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.
The Greek word is δοῦλος (dŏulŏs). In the Greek, that word means “slave” — never as anything but “slave.” It doesn’t mean “servant”; it doesn’t mean “worker”; it doesn’t mean “hired hand”; it doesn’t mean “helper.” There are six or seven Greek words that mean “servant” in some form. δοῦλος (dŏulŏs) never means “servant.” A servant is someone hired to do something. The slave is someone owned. Big difference — huge difference — and yet all through the New Testament the word “slave” is masked by the translation “servant,” or some form of the word “servant.” Truly a remarkable thing.
What about the apostles and early disciples? Jesus taught His disciples. They got it. You see it in the letters in the new testament scripture.
- Paul referring to himself, Philippians 1:1, as a slave of the Messiah. In Romans 1:1, “slave of Messiah.” Titus 1:1, “slave.”
- James, the half-brother of our Lord; says “James, a slave of God and of the Master Jesus the Messiah.” (James 1:1)
- Peter, not to be outdone (2 Peter 1:1), “Peter the slave.”
- Jude “Jude, a slave of Jesus the Messiah, and brother of James”
- John if Revelation 1:1, “John the slave.”
The main thing: Every one of them identifies himself as a slave of the Messiah — chosen, bought, owned, subjected, dependent, disciplined, rewarded, provided for, protected, and obedient — and obedient unto death.