|“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as |
servants of Christ and as those entrusted
with the mysteries God has revealed.”
|—1 Corinthians 4:1|
How are you regarded? Said another way, what do people think about you? What description pops into their thinking when you come to mind?
The Apostle Paul had no patience with hero worship. Even though Paul certainly had achieved the status of a spiritual super hero, he wrote these words in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2:
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Early Christians in Corinth had begun to identify with their favorite preacher or teacher. In the verses immediately preceding the ones quoted above, Paul challenges them to put away such foolish thinking.
Instead Paul urges them to recognize that the one sharing the good news of the gospel with them is nothing more than a “bond slave of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God.”
A bond slave is a now-freed slave who willingly attaches himself or herself forever to his or her master, as described in Deuteronomy 15:12-18:
If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.
Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
So, a steward is a slave elevated to a position of responsibility in his or her Master’s Kingdom. A steward has no interest other than doing what is best for the Master.
How do people regard you as a Christian? Are you a bond slave of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God? I am and I hope you are, too.