Simon Peter, a bond-servant … of Jesus Christ …. (2 Peter 1:1)
A bond-servant of Jesus Christ is:
- In a Master-Slave/King-Slave relationship. (Mat 18:23)
- Under the Master’s authority. (Mat 8:9)
- The relation is a “do this, and one does it” bond. (Mat 8:9)
- Identified as one with the Master as the slave becomes like the Master. (Mat 10:24)
- Voluntarily submissive towards one-another. (Mat 21:34)
- Accountable to the Master. (Mat 25:19)
- Aims to please the Master. (Gal 1:10)
- Not a slave to the flesh but to the Risen Lord. (2 Pet 2:19)
Jesus Christ voluntarily took upon Himself the form of a bond-servant (Phi 2:7). He is our Example, exalting this relationship of the Servant to the Father and giving honor to this position of servitude. Christ Jesus is the Servant.
A person might object by importing into the term, slave the images of American slavery. This would be wrong, although we might learn somewhat from our history.
A person might object by saying, “Perhaps, but did not Christ call us His friends?” (Joh 15:14–15) Again, it would be inappropriate to import our concept of a modern-day friend into the passage. The main point of the passage is that a slave does not necessarily have insight into the reasons and plans of the Master. A friend does.
I would suggest that what Jesus refers to by calling us friends is a reference to Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham is called a friend of God. (2 Chr 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jam 2:23) We are the children of Abraham by faith. (Gal 3:26, 29) Abraham was also given insight into the plans of God. The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. (Gen 18:17–19)
The Apostles labeled their relationship to the resurrected Lord as a Master-Slave bond. May Christians recommit to this New Testament attitude in their relationship with Christ, His people, and others. In doing so, we might hear, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master. (Mat 25:23)