The Bond Servant

Print this page    

In those days, many had to seek work as hired servants for wealthy land owners. I was a poor peasant girl. I needed to find work and to be taken care of. Word spread throughout the village of one wealthy land owner who was very hard to work for but was fair and good to his servants. He always treated them well and didn't abuse them. The work was hard but he took good care of his servants as long as they were good workers. Those who slacked off were sent away without any further compensation.

I came upon the stately mansion. It was the most awesome mansion I had ever seen! As far as the eye could see were the vast fields, vineyards, and livestock. I was excited yet very much afraid to enter those gates. Many spoke of the owner's son. He was a very firm taskmaster but also kind, gentle and understanding. He required that when you work for him it was for a total of seven years. After that time, you were set free with a very handsome settlement in which you could take care of yourself for quite sometime!

I entered the gates, trembling. I was brought to the owner's son. He was very specific what he expected from me, but in turn, he would treat me fairly and pay me a just wage. My work began in the fields. We would put in a very long, hard day but at the end of the day, he would feed us a very good meal and our quarters were very comfortable compared to most servant's camps. Once in a while, the owner's son would walk among the fields just to check on us. Those of us who were working hard were encouraged. Those who were not working hard were warned and then later sent away if their work did not improve.

At the end of the seven years, each servant was given a graduation ceremony of sorts. There would be a special party where the master's son would congratulate them and give them a total of $15,000 compensation to help them along the way. They were set free and on their own. Although the subject rarely came up, all servants were given a chance at that time to become the master's bond sevants -- servants for life -- completely sold out to the master, never to be free. In turn, the master would take care of them for the rest of their lives. Very few even considered this kind of servitude.

As the end of my seven years approached, I asked many of the other servants if they had ever considered becoming a bond servant. They laughed and said, "No way!!! Only a crazy person would even consider something like that!" Once in a while I would see one of the owner's bond servants. They were different. They would come out to the fields to bring a message from the master, but they didn't mingle amoung us. Everytime the master's son would come to the field, my heart would leap for joy! He was such a kind, gentle person, yet strong and unwavering. He was a very powerful man -- much like his father. At times when I would see him, it would almost take my breath away. My heart would beat faster and faster and I would cling to his every word, although he rarely spoke directly to me. One time, he stopped and asked me my name. I told him that I really didn't have a name. He just smiled.

It was time for my "graduation." I was being set free that night. The master's son called me up and congratulated me on a fine job. He was about to give me my compensation when I said in a very low voice, "I don't want to leave -- I want to be your bond servant." The crowd of servants gasped!!! He silenced them and asked me to repeat myself. I said, "I don't want to leave you master. I want to stay with you forever. I want to be your bond servant!" He asked me if I had any idea what kind of decision I was making. I told him I did, but he asked me to think about it overnight and let him know in the morning.

When the morning came, he approached me again, "Have you made your decision?" I said, "Yes, my lord. I want to be your bond servant." He smiled and escorted me to a block of wood. He told me to lay down. The block of wood was put behind my left ear. One of the other bond servants took a nail and pounded it into my earlobe to make a hole. He inserted an earring of fine gold. This was the seal of our committment. The pain in my ear was very intense but the joy in my heart was overwhelming.

As I began to leave, the master's son called me over to him. He comforted me in my pain and told me to pack my bags. I said, "But master, where am I going?" He told me that I would no longer live in the servant's camp, but would live in the master's house. I was his property now and he would always take care of me -- no matter what! He even gave me a name!

The mansion was more awesome than I could ever imagine. I even had my own room! I still worked very hard for the master and his son, but the atmosphere was so different. I lived in his house. I began to know every intimate detail of his life. I saw exactly how he lived. Every once in a while he would come to my room and just chat with me. I waited on him hand and foot and took care of his every need. I began to know exactly what he liked and what he didn't like.

As the years passed by, I became very old and feeble. One day while I was taking a message for him to the field, I felt faint. I had to sit down. The master's son rushed out to check on me. He took one look at me and picked me up in his arms and carried me back to his father's house. He put me in my bed and waited on me hand and foot. He wouldn't let me lift a finger. I asked him why he was doing this and he replied, "I made a comittment to you years ago that if you became my bond servant, I would take care of you for the rest of your life, even when you are old and feeble. It is now my turn to wait on you!"

I have never regretted the day I made the decision to become his bond-servant. I know that no matter what happens, he will be there for me. And this earring of fine gold never fails to remind me of that relationship. I always wondered about the other sevants -- how long did their money last? And what ever became of them when they were old? Who took care of them when they could no longer take care of themselves?

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knowth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." (John 15:15)