22 The Missionary’s Master
“Ye call me Master and Lord:
and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13
To have a master and to be mastered is not the same
thing. To have a master means that there is one who knows me better than I know
myself, one who is closer than a friend, one who fathoms the remotest abyss of
my heart and satisfies it, one who has brought me into the secure sense that he
has met and solved every perplexity and problem of my mind. To have a master is
this and nothing less – “One is your Master, even Christ.”
Our Lord never enforces obedience; He does not take
means to make me do what He wants. At certain times I wish God would master me
and make me do the thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave
me alone, but He does not.
“Ye call me Master and Lord” – but is He? Master and Lord have little
place in our vocabulary, we prefer the words Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer. The
only word to describe mastership in experience is love and we know very little
about love as God reveals it. This is proved by the way we use the word obey.
In the Bible obedience is based on the relationship of equals, that of a son
with his father. Our Lord was not God’s servant, He was His Son. “Though He
were a Son, yet learned He obedience . . .” If our idea is that we are being
mastered, it is a proof that we have no master; if that is our attitude to
Jesus, we are far away from the relationship He wants. He wants us in the
relationship in which He is easily Master without our conscious knowledge of
it, all we know is that we are His to obey.