How Free Do You Wanna Be?

“Master, to whom would we go?”
(Peter, 1st century)

Imagine a slave being given his freedom. Now imagine that same slave telling his master, “No, Master, I love serving you! My place is here with you. May I stay?” When the novelty of Christ wore off on His audience and His popularity waned, particularly when it dawned on them that His mission was not to come and make us feel better about ourselves but to make us holy, He watched a steady stream of “wanna eats but not wanna bes” walk away from Him and hitch a ride onto the wide road. We’ll just find somewhere else to take our business to, they sniffed.

When nary a soul remained He turned and saw His ragtag band of wannabes (save one) standing pat. “I’m not going to make you stay, fellows,” He offered. “You may leave anytime you wish.”

I can visualize Peter grouping The Twelve together in a sort of huddle and the subsequent whisperings, sometimes strained but mostly quiet and orderly. Then, I see as the small clutch of disciples breaks and they watch as Peter approaches the Master. “Lord, we’ve talked about it and pretty much all of us agree: where else could we go? You have the words of life. May we stay with You?”

In the Old Testament, when a slave of Judah was granted their Jubilee pardon, and one decided to stay put in his master’s household, he (or she) would place their earlobe against the doorpost of the master’s house and with a hammer and awl, the master would open a bloody hole in that part of the ear and after inserting a gold or brass or silver ring, the slave was his for life. By choice.

I take you now into the Upper Room on a melancholic Passover evening in Jerusalem’s first century, not too long after the aforementioned conversation. There we find thirteen men lounging around a table laden with the customary lamb, the herbs, the wine, with Jesus as its head. Judas is on one side and John is at His breast. The arrangement is quite telling. At Jesus’ back is Judas. At His front, near His heart, is the beloved disciple. Now, don’t miss this: John’s earlobe is pressed against the Master who has called himself in John’s gospel—and in his gospel alone—the Door. The picture is too good to miss. Here is John, by choice through intimacy, intentionally making himself the Master’s bondslave.

I’m not sure if this was ever attempted but I wonder what it would say of a slave if he or she was to tell their master, “Not just this ear, Master, but my other one as well. I want everyone to see, from all angles, that I belong to you and desire Your reign over me.” I could see an impetuous Peter, a doe-eyed John or a decisive Paul doing just that.

That’s freedom’s cost: a bloody ear. So how free do you wanna be?

One ear or two?

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10 thoughts on “How Free Do You Wanna Be?

  1. Cheetah says:

    Wow! The insight is incredible. I pray that the New River congregation will hear much, much more of this in coming weeks. Praise God Most High for you, Pastor Mitchell. You are truly an anointed, two bloody eared servant of Christ.
    Yes, I’ll put my ear to the Door if you’ll hold my hand and steady my head for me and I can look at your face while it’s being done.

    Like

  2. J.Thomas says:

    To be a slave to Jesus Christ is to be a slave to Freedom Himself.

    The cost?

    Only our own life.

    Is it worth it?

    Yes and amen.

    Like

  3. J.Thomas says:

    I agree with Cheetah about your insight, Scott.
    Ear to the door.

    I’m certain that John “heard” the joy of the fellowship of the Godhead as he laid his head upon the bosom of our Lord, desiring to not only have his “ear pierced” as a sign to all (perhaps the spiritual application would be having our hearts pierced, which would also result in a clear testimony as to whom our master is) ,but to also “enter into” Christ.

    They began as slaves….
    What caused them to be known as friends?

    Thank you, Scott, for sharing Jesus Christ.

    Like

  4. rjperalta says:

    Excellent Scott!
    Very good insight.
    In answer to your question, both ears, by His Grace!

    God’s blessings upon you,
    Richard

    Like

  5. Mic says:

    Thank you for this entry Scott! I identify with it so much, but since we have been in the book of Deuteronomy, how about this one.
    Deuteronomy 10:16″So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” (Ouch!) 🙂

    Like

  6. pasturescott says:

    Cheetah…you have blessed me so! Your hope for the River is my hope as well, that we would all together be the fellowship of the bloody earlobes.

    God bless you greatly!

    Like

  7. pasturescott says:

    “Enter in” to Christ! Yes and amen, indeed, JT! I am taking your thought about what John heard as he laid against the Savior’s breast and finding much personal help in it. To me, you have captured what a quiet time is all about. To bend near to the heart of God and match Him rhythm for rhythm…and falling right into His Life!

    Love you bro!

    Like

  8. pasturescott says:

    I know you enough by now, Richard, that I would have easily guessed what your answer would be! The two-holed commitment (per se) is easily felt and read in your posts. Man, it’s a cool thing to have you visit here!

    Blessings and rivers of grace, brother!

    Like

  9. pasturescott says:

    Hey Mic! Ouch, indeed!

    But here is my heart, Lord. For You. Set me as a seal upon Your arm, O Lover of my soul…

    Isn’t that cool? What a Marriage Couple this is! The Bridegroom with the tattoo and the Bride with piercings!!!!

    Like

  10. J.Thomas says:

    Praise the Lord!

    A dear sister of ours said recently, “If we really knew the Lord for who He is, we would be singing and dancing in the streets”.

    Like

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