Disciples and Servants


“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” (Matthew 10:24)

Note the twofold relation of the believer to the Lord Jesus Christ expressed in this verse. We are His disciples and servants; He is our Master and Lord. Each of the two relationships is vital. The word for “disciple” means “pupil.”

The word “master” is the same as “teacher.” The Lord Jesus, therefore, is our teacher, and He teaches us through His Word—the Holy Scriptures. It is our function to learn His teachings and, of course, to believe them. No Christian (one under the authority of Christ) has the right to reject or even to question one of the teachings of His Word (Matthew 5:18-19). The lord-servant relationship goes even further. The word for “servant” is actually “bond slave.” The “lord” of a slave was his owner; the word itself means “supreme ruler” and is the title commonly assigned to God Himself in the New Testament. Thus, if a disciple is to believe the word of his master without question, the servant is to obey the word of his lord without hesitation.

But the world scoffs at the teachings of God’s Word, and will try to persecute those who seek to follow them. The unbelieving world—even the religious world—responded to the teachings of the Master by ridiculing Him, then torturing Him, and finally hanging Him on a tree to die.

Yet we are to go to the same world with the same teachings. “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). “As thou hast sent me into the world,” He prayed, “even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). He does warn us: “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). HMM