“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” (Jude 1:1)
The servant described in Exodus 21 is a voluntary slave. He is a life-long slave. He is a love slave. That is what Christ became to God for us, that he might save us (Isa. 50:5-7). And that is what Christ makes his people when he saves them by his grace. That’s what I want to be. — The bond-slave of Jesus Christ! — The willing, voluntary, lifelong bond-slave of my Savior! Let me show you from the Scriptures what it means to be “the servant of Jesus Christ.”
The word “servant” implies worship (Judg. 2:7, 2 Chro. 30:8). All who are the servants of Jesus Christ call upon his name in worship, faith, and gratitude as their God and Savior (Rom. 10:9-13). Believers are men and women who are in a unique slave-master relationship. Being made free by him, freed from his law and freed by his law, we are bound to him in faith, gratitude, and love (Rom 6:18, 22; 2 Cor. 5:14), as willing slaves.
A slave is one who is owned, totally possessed, because he wants to be, by his Master. This is what Jude means. He was purchased and possessed by Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20). He was conquered by his Master’s grace and love. The servant of Christ lives and exists only for his Master. We have no other reason for existence. The servant has no rights of his own, no property of his own, no family of his own, no will, no ambition of his own. He belongs to his Master.
The one thing that should be obvious is that servants serve. The servant of Christ lives for the purpose of serving Christ. He exists only for the purpose of doing his Master’s will. He is at his Master’s beck and call. He serves not himself, but his Master — His Master’s Cause — His Master’s Family — His Master’s Honor. May God give us grace ever to be completely subservient to our Redeemer. We owe everything to him. We owe him a debt we can never pay, but a debt we can never forget.
The title “servant of Jesus Christ,” as I said before, implies the highest, most honored, most royal distinction in the world. Throughout history, those men who stand out as the greatest, most useful, and most honored men have been the
servants of God. This is the highest title of honor imaginable. The believer’s slavery to Jesus Christ is not a cringing, cowardly, shameful subjection. It is the position of highest honor — an honor that bestows upon us the great privileges and responsibilities of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords. Servants are privy to their Master’s secrets. — “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants” (Amos 3:7).
Moses (Deut. 34:5; Mal. 4:4), Joshua (Josh. 24:29; Judg. 2:8), David (2 Sam. 3:18; Ps. 78:70), the prophets (Amos 3:7; Jer. 7:25), Paul (Rom 1:1; Tit 1:1), Timothy (Phil 1:1), Peter (2 Pet. 1:1), James (James 1:1), and Jude were all the servant of Jesus Christ (Jude 1). What a great honor it is to be ranked among such men!
Servants of Christ are followers of Christ. — “If any man serve me, let him follow me and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26). Christ’s servants are his attendants, his deacons, people who follow him to minister to and for him (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 15:58; Col. 3:23-24). — “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?” (Deut. 10:12) — “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28).
Whose servant are you? Whose servant am I? Our Master asks, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps. 2:11). — “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Ps. 100:2). May God the Holy Spirit graciously make us the servants of Jesus Christ.
“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.”