“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Peter viewed himself first as a slave of Jesus Christ. “Bondservant” is not a strong enough translation. The “bondservant” was a slave. Everyone understood this term in the Roman Empire since there were about fifty million slaves in the Empire. There were more enslaved people than there were freemen. Slaves numbered four or five times more than the number of Roman citizens. Numerous Roman wars of conquest had swelled the numbers of the slave class to an enormous extent. Prisoners of war made up a large part of that number. Slaves had few rights. In the first century, there was no Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Slaves in the Roman Empire. A man could do anything he wanted with his slaves.
Peter calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ. Slave to Christ is the highest role anyone could possess. This position is the way God honors the Christian (John 12:26). The slave ultimately becomes a king (Revelation 1:6). True joy comes from serving the King.
Peter essentially says, “I am a slave of Christ. I have no rights. I give myself lock, stock, and barrel to the Lord Jesus. Jesus completely possesses me. Everything else is incidental, whether it be my wife, children, career, profession, health, or future. He is my Master and Lord!” God uses people like that. No wonder God especially used Peter.
Paul also viewed himself as a slave (Romans 1:1).
The slave is totally at his master’s disposal.
The slave is at the master’s disposal, but the master also had a total obligation toward his slave’s well-being. Have you placed yourself at the service of King Jesus? Can you say with Peter, “I am a slave of Christ. I have no rights. I give myself lock, stock, and barrel to the Lord Jesus. Jesus completely possesses me. Everything else is incidental, whether it be my wife, children, career, profession, health, or future. He is my Master and Lord.” You can be sure that God will bless you if you do.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
“Not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient” (2 Timothy 2:24).