Saturday, November 05, 2016

Masters, do the same - Ephesians 6:9

"And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him." (Ephesians 6:9)
When Paul instructs masters to "do the same" what is he talking about? Certainly not obeying their slaves. The "same things" are those things that are done "with good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men." (Ephesians 6:7) Masters should live their lives towards others, including their slaves, with good will. They should be kind and considerate of the needs and dignity of those they master over. Specifically he mentions giving up threatening them. This Greek words means to be a menace to someone else. Other places Paul instructs them to be fair and just in the treatment of their slaves, "Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven." (Colossians 4:1)

At the heart of Paul's instruction are two important concepts. First is the Golden Rule. Masters are to treat their salves as they themselves would be treated, with kindness, consideration, fairness, and justice. We would not like having someone over us yelling and threatening all the time so why should we do it to those under us? When we do wrong, we would like mercy for ourselves so why are we so quick to want to punish those under us when they do wrong? The Father has told us that, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18) In other words, love others in the same way you would like to be loved.

Secondly, while we may be masters over slaves, we ourselves are the slaves of our heavenly master and He will judge us as slaves the same way they judge and treat our slaves. How can we plead mercy from God when we don't extend it to others? How can we require obedience from our slaves when we don't offer it to our master in heaven? Just because we are masters does not mean that God will judge us differently from our slaves. In this since we are one with our slaves and even greater than them in judgment. If they fail to obey human masters they will receive temporal punishment, but if we fail to obey our heavenly master, our punishment is eternal. We can only rule over and mange other people correctly when we understand our master and allow ourselves to be properly managed and ruled by the supreme master of the universe. We too have a master and we too are slaves, so let us not think of ourselves as being superior but as being in common with all other humans in receiving grace and mercy from the one who rules the universe.

David Robison

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