Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. Ephesians 6:5-9
Than a slave should obey their master is not much of a radical idea but that the person in authority should treat those under them with respect and kindness was. Women, children and slaves were treated a property in the ancient world a man was free to do with them as he chose. Now we see in Ephesians that man’s authority is not absolute. As we saw last week men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Then we see that children are also to be treated with respect and kindness. Today we see this very Christian idea extended to the slave and to those who work for someone.
This was a radical teaching in the ancient world. In fact, in many parts of the world today it still is. Christians are to temper their authority with love just as God does with us. It is teachings such as this that changed the Western world. Though it was slow with many stops and starts eventually slavery was ended in the West, women gained property rights and the right to vote and child labor was eliminated. In parts of the world where other religions dominate these problems still exist.
When people talk about how much is wrong with Christianity and the West we can point to how life was made better because of Christ. People were set free not just spiritually but physically. In all likelihood had Christ never came we would still have slavery in the West, women and children would still be considered property and life would be ever so much harder.
Christ came to save the world but He also changed the world in ways no other person has ever done before or since.
Have a blessed day,