Servant or Slave, Lord or Master

How do you view yourself (and I, myself) in your (my) relationship with Christ Jesus? Recently I attended a concert by Michael Card. For those who don’t know him, Card is a composer and singer of music based directly on the Bible. Each of his songs is a sermon in and of itself. He is also a writer of books.

During his concert, Card stated that he is currently being discipled in an African-American Church (Card is white and from a part of the south which is still deeply segregated). One of the things he said that stood out was the use of the terms “slave” and “Master” rather than “servant” (or follower) and “Lord.” When he asked about it, the Pastor of the church he is attending said “It’s in our roots. Our history here in the United States begins with slavery. Our forefathers were made to call our owners “master.” We understand the master/slave relationship in a way most others can’t.”

The pastor went on to explain how, during their period of enslavement his forbearers used the term b”Master” in their prayers, devotionals and spirituals. They did so to tell their “masters” who their “Master” really was.

The Hebrews were also slaves in Egypt. They, too, understood the slave/master relationship in deeper ways than most of us in the world today do. It remains in the heritage of the modern-day Jews. That is a big reason why Exodus is so very important.

For whatever reason, even in our Bibles, we have softened these words, “slave” (doulos in the Greek) and “Master.” In most translations, slave becomes servant, follower or disciple. Master becomes Lord. In many ways, it softens the message to make it more palatable. In many ways it is a masterpiece (pun intended) of marketing.

I find that unfortunate. By watering down it becomes easy to misinterpret how we are to relate to our Master, Christ Jesus. We are to be doulos, slaves, to Him.

And among the great wonders of Christianity we need to develop deep understanding of the following:

“He is the truth” And we are to be slaves of the truth.

“And the truth will set you free.”


Alive in The Word

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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1 Response to Servant or Slave, Lord or Master

  1. ptl2010 says:

    The term “slave” was applied to some rich Chinese households where bonded slaves were given to masters by friends who had received favours from the master in business or even in family situations. These slaves received no payment but were maintained under the master’s household for life. They became like a chattel of the master.
    Servants were differentiated as they were paid and could leave if they wanted to. They were not considered as property of the master.

    Christians who are slaves to Christ are bonded for life. They sacrifice their time and their lives to Christ with no expectation of payment but are part of His household and are provided for and protected. They have no choice but to serve Him alone and no other.

    It is easy for today’s servants to walk away from the “Master” as they may not or no longer feel a part of His household anymore, or have gotten bored and want to taste the alternative lifestyle, want a change, not appreciating that He took them in and gave them the privilege of service because He loved them when they did not deserve His love.

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