Wielding a hammer, the master firmly struck the awl through the soft flesh and into the door post. The servant bravely suppressed a scream that tried to escape his mouth as pain seared through his ear lobe. But he was not afraid or distressed by the situation. No, he was full of joy and pride because of the significance of the moment. This man just made the transition from a servant to a bondservant. He would never be free again, and he had no rights, but he was happy. He was happy because he had chosen to be compelled to serve his master…for the rest of his life.
On Monday night during Faith’s SMF (Student Missionary Fellowship) prayer band, I was challenged with the idea of being a bondservant. It wasn’t the first time I had heard a message or devotional on the topic, and I was already familiar with the ancient practice of piercing a bondservant’s ear to signify his choice to continue serving his master, but I had never thought about the significance of a bondservant not having any rights. Mr. Roger McNamara, a missionary with Baptist Mid Missions, spoke to us about the importance of giving up our rights. I can’t remember exactly, but I think he referred to the text of Scripture that gives the account of James’ and John’s mother asking Jesus to let her sons sit on either side of Him in heaven (Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 10:20-28). He challenged us to give up our rights as servants of Jesus Christ. That is a sign of true greatness.
Paul was one of the greatest men in the New Testament. But why was he so great? He knew who he was and what God required of him. Paul declared himself a servant of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10;