"Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master" (John 20:16).
The Christian calls Jesus Christ his Master, but do we really understand what this word means? The concept of masterhood has very little meaning without someone under oversight; the master must be master of a slave or a servant.
The word translated "servant" in many passages actually means "bond servant," or "slave," and implies a permanent condition. The one in bondage has lost all personal rights and lives solely to serve his or her master. "For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). The slave in New Testament times didn't even have a right to his own life.
There are several reasons why we should willingly place ourselves in bondage to Christ. First, He created us; we have no existence apart from His gracious sustenance (Colossians 1:16-17). Secondly, after our refusal to remain in submission to Him had brought us into slavery to sin, He paid an enormously high price to buy us back from that cruel master. Thirdly, His Father offers to adopt, as children, those who willingly accept Christ's masterhood and promises an inheritance along with that of His beloved Son.
There are many guidelines in Scripture to aid us in becoming servants fit "for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (II Timothy 2:21). In fact, our Master willingly became a servant to give us an example: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and . . . humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:5-8). "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:13-14). JDM