There were no permanent slaves in Israel. After six years of service, slaves are set free according to Mosaic law. However, there are a few, who will not choose to be freed. “But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.” (Exodus 21:5,6) Strange! Why should a slave reject opportunity for freedom and end up as perpetual slave?
1) Love: The bond slave responds to his master, who was loving, just and righteous in dealing with him. Love responds to love. Lord Jesus Christ emptied himself to become a bond slave of Father and took form a human to redeem humanity. (Philippians 2:7) Lord loved Father and also the depraved human beings desperately in need of redemption. Hence, disciples should respond to love of Christ with love, surrender and submission.
2) Pierced ears: The master would accept this and make it public in the community. Then there was a ritual of piercing his ear with an awl. The awl represents the nail that pierced the hands and legs of Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, as true act of consecration. It also means that the slave will be always alert, to listen and obey the voice of the Master. The mark would inform all in the community that this person is a life-long slave. Paul declares that he has been branded, mark of Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:17)
3) Doorpost: The piercing was done near the door or doorpost. It was a public ceremony. In the same way a believer also makes a public confession and should always be witness for the Lord. Loving, worshiping, and serving the Master may not be public, but witnessing is a public act.
Am I a bond slave for Lord Jesus Christ?