Our Mission as Stewards and Slaves

In Mark 1 Jesus begins to set a pattern for how his ministry will work, not only during the time before his crucifixion, but also the time after his resurrection, as he works by the Holy Spirit through the Church.  This pattern can be summed up in his words in Mark 1:38 - “Let’s go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I’ve come.”   That’s the basic picture: Publicly tell others the good news of the Kingdom of God, live it out, and then go meet new people to do the same.  All of Church History is the unfolding of this plan.  Everyone who is truly a follower of Jesus walks in this pattern as well.

That’s what we see in 1 Cor. 9:16-23.  A snapshot of St. Paul’s ministry to those in the city of Corinth.  In it he describes what it looks like to live out this pattern using two different roles as illustrations: the role of the steward and the slave.    These two illustrations pack quite a punch… and no one who truly seeks to understand what Paul is saying here will ever live the same way again. This passage takes us back to the beginning of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

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