Summary: Uses a Jedi theme to teach the important issues of slave to master relationship, the importance of working hard at our jobs, and the Bema Seat judgment before Christ.
THE JEDI MASTER
Series: Ephesians 6
BIBLE VERSE: Ephesians 6:5-9
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
OPEN: Open with your favorite Star Wars scene featuring a Jedi Knight doing a whole lot of clobbering. As for me, I plan to use the scene where Luke Skywalker has to walk the plank over a giant toothy sand creature in the middle of a desert as he hopes to regain the life of Han Solo. If you don’t know a scene…what’s wrong with you?
TRANSITION: Now, whether you like Star Wars, love Star Wars, never heard of Star Wars (relax guys, there are a lot of communists living in Russia who have never heard of Star Wars), or just tolerate Star Wars because you know someone that does love it…we can all appreciate the work done by a young apprentice in becoming a Jedi Knight. One would say that the young trainee had to become a…SLAVE to the master…in order to become a Jedi.
WOULD YOU GO THROUGH THE TRAINING? (Get a show of hands here) How many of you would go through the years of training, the removal from your family, the butt-whippings leashed, live in a swamp, hunted by a guy named Darth…all to pick up rocks with your mind? OR, MAYBE SAVE THE WORLD? (hopefully most of the room’s hands will be up).
KEY POINT: So if you are serious…then let me ask you a more serious question…if you are so serious about doing the training to save the world…then LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT TRAINING IN CHRIST TO SAVE THE WORLD FOR REAL. Otherwise, we’re just talk.
BECOMING A JEDI FOR CHRIST IS ALL ABOUT YOUR TRAINING…
A) THE MEANING OF THE SLAVE: The world gives the phrase slave a bad name…and for the most part, it is bad to be a slave. Our nation had been affected horribly by the evils of slavery, and some of you may be surprised to find out that in some places slavery is still practiced.
Technically, when the Bible refers to a slave, it doesn’t actually have the same meaning that we as post-Civil War Americans believe it to be. It’s still bad, just not as bad as we picture it. Here’s how it works: A man takes out a loan for 10,000 kernels of corn to plant beside the river, then a flood takes place and he cannot pay back the 10,000 kernels that he borrowed. What should the judge do? Have them killed for not repaying? That’s one option, and I am sure many judges ordered that execution. OR, the man who borrowed the corn COULD SELL himself back to the man he borrowed the corn from. The borrower now became a slave…or in our terms…a worker that has to work for free under the guidelines of a very strict, rich boss. Now, living as a slave under the Judeo-system wasn’t easy, and there were horrific scenarios of slavery that took place, like when the Egyptians enslaved the Jews. But, one typically became a slave as a way to pay off a debt that could not be paid.
Something else about the Judea-system, slavery was temporary. Yeah, that’s right. According to Levitical law, at a certain point of time (something like 7 years), all the slaves were free to go (of course, that’s assuming the laws were actually followed on this, it’s sometimes hard to say what was followed and what was not depending on the era and the people). So would someone loan out 10,000 kernels of corn…not if the slave forgiveness day was one year a way. But if it just took place, some people were willing to make some major investments. Of course, corn was really never part of the issue because that was given to the pilgrims by the Indians about 1500 years later, but the illustration makes the point about Judea-slavery.
B) Should we be slaves?
BIBLE VERSE: 2 Peter 1:1 What title does Peter give himself here?
BIBLE VERSE: Romans 1:1 What title does Paul give himself here?
Slave or Bondservant. Either word carries the same meaning, carries the same outcome, carries the same weight. What Paul and Peter are stating here is that they have voluntarily chosen to be a slave to Jesus Christ forever. There is no going back, there is no end in sight, only death in the future can end one’s slave-like service towards Christ (by the way, they weren’t expecting riches either when they pledged this like a whole bunch of TV preachers do if you understand what I’m saying).