receiving God’s honour, sacrifice of love,
“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour.” (John 12:26)
In the Bible we find many passages that talk about serving God; this specific one proves that God has opened up His blessings to everyone who would serve Him. However, in order to properly comprehend what it means to be a servant, we have to complement it with another verse from the Old Testament:
“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.” (Exodus 21:1-6)
This verse illustrates various types of servants, and there’s a specific one that stands out: the one who would have his ear pierced and serve his master forever. This outcome was reserved for the servant who would plainly say, or willingly demonstrate, that he loved his master, his wife and his children, and for this reason he would give up his right to be set free. This servant’s love is what would force him to continue serving even though he had already been granted his freedom. To mark this decision, he would be pierced in the ear with a sharp object. Note that the Bible verse doesn’t say that he would serve until the end of his life, but ‘forever’. No one can serve an earthly master for all eternity, meaning that this verse speaks about serving God Himself.
And that is where the secret to receiving God’s honour comes in. We cannot serve Him out of personal gain, tradition or fear. It has to be out of love; this means being pierced in the flesh because of it, which reminds us of the death of Jesus on the cross. However, the most common thing we see in the world today are churchgoers who have no resemblance whatsoever to Christ or His sacrifice. Their actions are completely the opposite of what God teaches. They run away from the pain of having their ‘ears pierced’, and by doing so they show that they are afraid of the sacrifice they would have to do in order to serve God indefinitely.
We have to learn how to serve God properly and have our flesh pierced, as a sacrifice of love for Him. Nowadays, this doesn’t mean having to endure physical pain or shedding blood. Sacrifice has spiritual meaning; by sacrificing our own desires and instincts in order to do God’s will we are proving our love for Him. It also leaves a mark, as a sign for everyone to see that you have let go of your own desires out of love for your Master. You are ‘bleeding’ for Him, just as Jesus was pierced and bled for us. During His sacrifice, Jesus was bruised from head to toe but, when He resurrected, His entire body was restored except His hands and feet (John 20:19). These marks were left there as a sign of a Servant, and the greatest One at that, who served His Master out of love. Today, His name is held above all others because of it.