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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Knowing our King | Colossians 4:1 | Ye also have a Master in Heaven.

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

We’ve come to the last people mentioned in this list of relationships, Husband and Wife, Parent and Child, and now, Servant and Master [Employee and Employer]. What is true of every one of these relationships is that there is an authority and a subject. As we have said, our relationship with Jesus permeates every other relationship we have. Not only every relationship but every aspect of every relationship. If we are servants we are to serve as if we are serving Christ, If we are masters we are to treat them as Christ has treated us.

Jesus sets the example for us, He was the greatest servant this world has ever known and he is the greatest master a man could ever want. So no matter what end of the relationship we are on with people here on earth, Christians of all walks of life can look to Jesus and be instructed. What a blessing it is when both ends of the relationship are looking to Jesus. When husband and wife, parent and child, and master and servant are looking to Jesus our relationships are bound to show forth Christ's likeness. We know that is not a reality for every Christian, and for those who are subject to men who are not following Christ, even still you have a master who knows what it is to serve people who did not love God. For those who are employing men who do not follow Christ, Jesus knows what it is to be the authority over countless millions who refuse to follow him. Jesus, who is our life, shows us how to live our lives no matter our walk of life.

Masters, Give your servants what is just and equal. If you employ people be sure that you treat them as Christ would treat them, justly and equally. We live in a poverty-stricken part of the world, and equal rights and labor laws are not in place to protect people from exploitation. People are in such desperate need that they will work for next to nothing and those who have plenty are apt to take advantage of people in desperate situations. We expect this from the lost but sadly we see it happening among the Christian community. Those who profess to be brothers exploit their brothers, and many times people have left their roles in Christian organizations to find they are more fairly treated in a secular workplace. James had some strong words for people who abuse the authority and position God has given to them. “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.” [James 5:4]

This brings us to the latter part of our verse today. “Knowing that you have a master in heaven.” Do you remember the story of the man who was forgiven his debt but refused to forgive the debt of his servant? He was turned over to the tormentors because he was not willing to extend the same treatment that had been extended to him. We have a master in Heaven who treats us justly and equally, so we should follow his lead, and everyone under us, at home, at church, or at work should be treated like Christ treats us. Has he been merciful when we made mistakes? He has. Has He forgiven us when we did what we should not have? He has. Has He ever answered our prayerful request? He has. Has he even given us our wants at times? He has. So then, we have a snapshot of an example of how we are expected to treat those under us, as he who is above us treats us.

This section of the book is all about relationships. Our relationship to Christ 3:1-4, Our relationship with Christ and his Body 3:5-17 and ending with Our everyday relationships 3:18-4:1. It is in these everyday relationships that Christ is seen most practically in this world. We have evidence from the scriptures that Believing wives or husbands can influence the other and bring them into a relationship with the one who makes them such a joy to be in a relationship with[1 Cor 7:10-16]. We have examples of how parents have brought their children to a relationship with the one who made being a son or daughter to them such a joy [2 Tim 1:5]. Even a servant who comes to know his master’s Master [The Book of Philemon]. Our relationship to Christ and with Christ changes our relationships with others and thereby others are brought into a relationship with our heavenly master, Jesus.

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