The Mark of a Servant


The Mark of a Servant
Devotions with Pastor Jason Lim

Paul was set apart as a servant to Jesus Christ. Do we also carry the marks of a servant of Jesus? In Romans 1:1 he writes, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…" This is Paul's open declaration that he is no more a servant of sin but a servant of Jesus. Paul uses a word here that has profound meaning to describe his relationship with Jesus and that is the word 'servant' or 'doulos' in the Greek, which means 'bondslave'. 

The Jews had a special arrangement for a 'doulos'. A slave typically works for his master for six years. On the seventh year when the contract expires, the servant is free to leave. But if the servant wants to, he can stay on to serve his master out of devotion. Then, the master is required by the Mosaic law to make a permanent and visible mark on the ear of the servant with a sharp instrument. This 'doulos' is no part-time, temporary vocation. The slave's life, possessions, and identity belong totally and completely to his master. Paul is, therefore, saying, "All that I am and have belong to my master, Jesus Christ." 

Paul says in Galatians 1:10, "For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be the servant (doulos) of Christ." Paul is saying that as a servant, the only purpose of his existence now is to please Jesus and no one else. He understood that the life that seeks after fame, popularity, wealth and other worldly pursuits is over. He is now marked for life to serve his master only.

Friends, do you recognize that we are called to be slaves of Jesus Christ? We serve Him because He first loved us and gave Himself up for us in the gospel. And if you choose not Christ as your master today, you are really serving someone or something else. May we truly bear the marks of a servant of Jesus, a holy, Christ-imitating and God-honoring life. May His love in the gospel produce true servant-heartedness for His glory