August 27, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
This is the fourth installment of Why You Should Love Your Master from Exodus 21:2 through 6. Notice what happens to the servant when he declares his love for his master and his desire to serve him forever:
If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he
shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out
by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If
his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters,
the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by him-
self. But if the servant plainly says, “I love my master, my wife, and my
children; I will not go out free,” his master shall bring him to the judges.
He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost; and his master shall
pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.
It is a curious commandment that God has given here. The master is to “… bring him to the door, or to the doorpost; and…pierce his ear with an awl….” Now this was not a piercing like it is done today to wear that pierced-ear style of earrings. This was a good sized awl that was hit with a hammer to put it through the ear and into the door! And it left a good sized hole! Henceforth, you could easily spot a ‘forever servant’ by the big hole in his ear! He bore the mark of his master!
Paul wrote in Galatians 6:17, “…I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” What marks? In II Corinthians 11:23 through 28 he tells of the persecution he suffered for the cause of Christ:
…in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prison more fre-
quently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes
minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once was I stoned; three
times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in
journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own
countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness
and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in
cold and nakedness — beside the other things, what comes upon me daily:
my deep concern for all the churches.
Yes, Paul bore the marks – the marks of hardship and persecution – because he loved his Master!
But go back to Galatians 6, and look at verses 14 and 15 – just before he says in verse 17, “…I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus…”:
…God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails any-
thing, but a new creation.
Paul is defending the true gospel of Jesus Christ against legalists who insisted that believers had to become Jews first – including circumcision – to be saved. But notice what he says counts in God’s sight: “…a new creation.” As the apostle wrote in II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” And that new creation is brought into being by the new birth – being “…born again…of the Spirit…”, according to John 3:3 through 5.
We may or may not bear physical marks from persecution. But every true believer will carry the marks – or the likeness – of the Lord Jesus Christ! Don’t forget that the Father’s purpose for every true Christian is spelled out very plainly in Romans 8:29: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” We are to “…grow up in all things into Him, who is the head — Christ….” (Ephesians 4:15). And the process is touched upon in II Corinthians 3:18 (Living Bible): “But we Christians…can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works in us, we become more and more like Him.”
Why You Should Love Your Master: “We love him, because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19). And He bears the marks to prove it – the nail marks in His hands and the spear mark in His side (see John 20:27). Will you show your love for Him, and your commitment to serve Him forever by carrying His mark – the increasing image in your person of the Lord Jesus Christ?