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Matthew 19-20; Mark 10; Luke 18

Commentary by Lynne Hilton Wilson Ph.D. 


 Jesus offered a new look at servitude by turning social hierarchy upside down. In His Kingdom, the first are last and servants are “the greatest.” Jesus did not denounce servitude; He denounced the aristocracy that did not serve. He tried to teach masters how to serve. Through His example and words, He encouraged us to serve each other with love. In the first century, one-third of the Roman Empire was in the class of slaves and servants (but it was more similar to what we think of as the feudal system).1 

The Law of Moses allowed the poor, who needed room and board, to sell themselves to another Jew: “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing” (Exodus 21:2). When Jesus came, instead of getting rid of slavery and servitude, Jesus worked to rid the culture of harsh masters, hatred, prejudice, and class systems. Anyone who sought a position of domination over another, with power-hungry or money-thirsty motives, was not welcome in His Kingdom. Everyone in His Kingdom serves one another and The Father in humility and love.


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