” Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters,”
– Titus 2:9
This passage needs to be seen from two perspectives. The Greek word for servant implies slave status (involuntary subservience) or voluntary subservience. In the United States absolute slavery, i.e ownership of persons. is unlawful. It is not uncommon that people voluntarily submit to others for purposes of employment or the care of others such as for medical or other purposes. Both status views are frequently seen in the Bible.
This passage expresses how one is to behave when he finds himself as one subservient to another. Such behavior is expected for a purpose of glorifying God in all things. One’s behavior style in such circumstances is not optional, according to feeling or based upon self importance. One’s manner of conduct is presented as an imperative required by God.
The manner of conduct and the objective of one’s conduct are clearly stated. Obedience is the manner. Obedience means that one will obey the directions and will of another. To be obedient, one must be subordinate to another. This means that they act as an inferior to the plan and order of another and the application of that other one’s will.
To be obedient, there must be a master to whom they yield. The word master is a compound which comes from the word for husband (a man) and the concept of being bound to. The implication here is that of an absolute ruler, a lord, or tyrant, even a despot. A despot rules without having accountability to any other man.
Each servant is obedient to “his own” master. There are practical applications to this with regard to the proper understanding of the Christian walk.
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