Do you remember when you first came to Yeshua? Perhaps you were a child at the time, and you were taught to trust God and love Him as a father—a love and trust that followed you into adulthood; a love and trust that you continue to rely upon as a son or daughter of God.
Or perhaps when you first came to Yeshua, you were a teenager or an adult, and you came to Him as your savior and friend. You began to learn over time to increasingly trust Him as your protector and constant companion—a mighty defender, and an approachable, compassionate and caring God.
And certainly, for as long as we follow Him, God is and always will be all these things: our father, our savior, our friend.
But as disciples of Messiah, we must also not forget the price of our discipleship, which means that we are more than just God’s friend, more than just His children, and more than just the goal of His salvation.Indeed, as Messiah’s disciples, He is also our Master, and we, therefore, His slaves. We show our gratitude, then, for God’s fatherhood, friendship and salvation by devoting our lives—and enslaving ourselves—to the Messiah.
To become a slave for Messiah is no less than to do what the Master Himself did for us. This is what Paul teaches us in Philippians 2:5-7,
Let this thinking be in you that is also in Messiah Yeshua—who, being in God’s form, thought to be equal to God not a thing to hold onto. But He emptied Himself, having taken a slave’s form—having been made in the likeness of men…. (mjlt)
If Yeshua was willing to let go of His divine nature so that His eternal purpose might be accomplished through His humanity, how much more must we be willing to set aside our own nature—our own selves—and be filled with and submitted to the purposes and goals of the Messiah?
If we truly want to be like Yeshua, then we must accept our role and mantle as slaves. Indeed, there is no greater calling, as the Master Himself teaches us:
[R]ather, whoever wants to become great among you, he will be your servant; and whoever among you wants to be first, he will be slave of all; for even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:43-45, mjlt)
So, unlike the slavery of the world—which robs, demeans and oppresses—being a slave for Messiah means being “great” and “first” among God’s people.
And yet the Master reminds us that the motivation for self-enslavement is far more than the mere desire to “become great” or “first”—more than a display or act of humility. Rather, it requires a radical acceptance of the ransom Yeshua paid for your life with His. Providing His own blood as payment, Yeshua bought your eternal life from Death; and whether we act like it—or believe it—or not, we are His slaves, because He owns us.
…And you are not your own, for you were bought with a price…. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, mjlt)
This must be the most fundamental identity of the effective disciple of Messiah: “Property of Yeshua.”
As slaves, our responsibility is to work solely in service of our Master, to do anything and everything He wants, and to further only His plans and purposes—all at the complete and utter expense of our own.
We may come to Yeshua initially in need—in need of a father, a savior, or a friend—but as disciples of Messiah, we should be staying with Him out of a commitment to service, as slaves of our Master. Our goal in serving should not be to benefit ourselves—although receiving help in our time of need and “becoming great” in God’s Reign are automatic benefits of our service. Rather, if we are truly Messiah’s disciples, we will enslave ourselves to Him regardless of the amount (or kind) of help and benefits we receive. Slavery to Messiah is not only easy and light, it is selfless; and,
Happy is that slave, whom his master, having come, finds so doing. (Matthew 24:46, mjlt)
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!