A Bondservant of Christ
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Dear Gano Baptist Family,
One of my favorite Books of the Bible is the Book of James. Over the next few weeks, we will walk verse by verse through this amazing Book of the Bible that some have mockingly called an “Epistle of Straw.” This James is most commonly thought to be a younger brother of Jesus. However, he introduces himself in James 1:1, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.” (NKJV) I find it interesting that James doesn’t introduce himself as Jesus’ little brother, but as a bondservant of Jesus. I’m afraid I would lean towards bragging about my physical relationship to Christ than my spiritual relationship to Christ. James had it right, though.
If we trace our family heritage back far enough, most of us could find some royalty or brilliance in our genealogy. Our parents and grandparents give us a legacy that we can either honor or dishonor. Being that parents and grandparents are human, our legacy that we are born into might or might not be all that great. We are all in the same boat. Romans 3:23 clearly says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (NKJV) Hmmm… That little three letter word: A-l-l, means everyone who has ever been born. We are all destined to fall short of the glory of God, except for the grace of God. James knew that being a bondservant to Jesus, was infinitely better than being the physical brother of Jesus. Thus, that is how he identifies himself.
So, what is a bondservant? Is it a friend of the master? No. Is it someone who has entered into a negotiable contract that can be broken either by them or by the master? No. A bondservant is a slave with only responsibilities and no rights. It is someone who has completely and willingly surrendered to the master, and in this case God. As Christians, we have only responsibilities and no rights. Matthew 22:27 says, “37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: We are responsible to Love God with all of our hearts. A large part of that love is obedience. Not the obedience of “I’ll get around to it when I find the time,” but the immediate and complete obedience of a bondservant. What a powerful message from one verse that I have so often read over way too quickly.
Your brother in Christ, a bondservant of Jesus,