Bondservants: a life of sacrifice and surrender

Paul and Timothy were bondservants of Christ in the New Testament, but a bondservant was seen as nothing more than a slave to a boss prior to them willfully attaching themselves to the Lord.

In similar fashion to a cow getting branded, bondservants would lean up against a door and their master would pierce their ear by nailing a nail (weird how that works…) through the lobe and into the door, signifying their surrender.

Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

Jim Elliot (martyr and missionary to the Auca Indians in Quito, Ecuador in the 1950s and husband to Elisabeth) wrote the following in his journal on March 10, 1948, his junior year at Wheaton College, after reading Exodus 21.

“The mark of a bondslave’s love was upon his ear. His ear was for his master alone; other voices could never have claim to its obedience. It was bored through at the door so that while the slave suffered the boring through his ear, he was conscious that perfect liberty to go his own way–out the door–was being surrendered. Savior, I know Thou hast allowed me absolute liberty, to serve Thee or to go my own way. I would serve forever, for I love my Master, I will not go out free. Mark my ear, Lord, that it might respond only to Thy voice.”

Wow. The significance between the ear and door is amazing and I can only echo the prayer of Jim: “Mark my ear, Lord, that it might respond only to Thy voice.”

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