“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other…”
– Matthew 6:24 NASB (Jesus speaking)
Yesterday, we read from the letter of Jude – one of Jesus’ half-brothers. I say “half-brother” because while Jesus was born to Mary when she was a virgin, she had other children naturally by Joseph – Jude being among them. Recall how Jude referred to Jesus:
“our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
– Jude 1:4 NASB
Note that familiarity did not breed contempt where Jude was concerned. He referred to Jesus with all the reverence due the Savior of the world.
The believers to whom Jude wrote were likely aware that Jesus had said, “No one can serve two masters.” Thus Jude’s reference to Jesus would carry even more of a punch. Jesus Himself had left room for only one Master.
If Jesus Christ was the “only Master and Lord” for the earliest disciples, He can be no less for us.
You have probably heard the adage that “a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” A man who chooses to be his own master is likewise foolish. That is, the man who says, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,” is navigating himself to shipwreck.
What’s so perilous about being your own master? Plenty. For one thing, you’re a creature! A creature that decides to live autonomously becomes a monster. That’s what the book Frankenstein was all about: a creator and creature at odds with each other. Our Creator loved us enough when we went astray to redeem us by first becoming one of us and then dying by our hand through gruesome torture. Only then did He rise from the dead and call us to trust Him.
This master who has loved us at such great personal cost calls us to love Him first and foremost, and then, on the basis of that love, to love one another as He loved us. This means living our lives for Him and others rather than for ourselves.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Creator and Heavenly Father, we have learned through the story of Your earthly life how much You love us. The only fitting response we can have is to let go of living for ourselves this day and live instead for the glory of You and for the good of others…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.