Paul, James, and Peter start their letters by introducing themselves as bond-servants of Jesus Christ, and they aren’t the only ones who claim to be bond-servants of Christ. But what does it mean to be a bond-servant? Why would you want to be a bond-servant? Well, we have to take a look at the Old Testament to learn what a bond-servant is.
“If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free.” — Deuteronomy 15:12
God gave His Law to His people, the Israelites. In that law, He says that if one of their kinsman is sold to them, the servant will serve the master for six years and be freed on the seventh year. However, verses 13 and 14 say that the servant will not go empty handed. The master is supposed to furnish the servant “liberally” just as the LORD has blessed the master.
However, sometimes a servant did not want to leave the master once he was freed on the seventh year.
“It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.” — Deuteronomy 15:16-17
Why would a servant give up his freedom? Because he loves his master.
If the master was a good master and the servant “fares well” with him, then the servant may ask to stay with the master. If a servant decided to stay, he would be a bond-servant for the rest of his life. He would serve his master forever. The master would then take an awl and pierce the servants ear, and that was a way of letting everyone know who the servant belonged to.
The apostles and others gladly called themselves bond-servants because they loved their Master, and they would serve Him forever. It is a service out of gratitude for everything the Master has done for us. It is a joy to be a servant because He is a good Master.
Could you introduce yourself as a bond-servant of Christ? Do you love your Master and desire to be with Him and serve Him forever?
Your sister in Christ,