"Knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."
Text: Colossians 4:1
The apostle Paul not only addressed Christian bondservants, he also had a word to Christian masters. They must seek to be responsible in their treatment of their bondservants.
“Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair,
knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”
1. The word “masters”
a) These were slave owners.
b) The word “master” is usually translated “lord” (Greek: kyrios).
c) The bondservants would address their owners as “lords”.
2. Much abuse
a) It would be fair to say that many “masters” abused their slaves.
b) Slaves were just chattel and easily disposed of.
c) Slaves had virtually no rights to speak of.
3. “Give your bondservants what is just and fair”
a) Bondservants were not paid for their labour.
b) They “belonged” to their masters.
c) Paul called upon Christian masters to do something different. (The imperative was used here.)
i) They should treat their bondservants justly (literally “equally”).
ii) They were to treat them fairly (literally “reciprocally” rather than “despotically”).
4. “Knowing that you also have a Master in heaven”
a) Paul reminded the Christian masters that they had a Master in heaven.
b) Jesus was their Lord in heaven.
OUR FAITH SHOULD AFFECT EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIFE
Paul sought to encourage his readers to apply their faith in life.