His Own - John 13. 1&2
A. C. Hinton, Uxbridge
AS STATED IN THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE, each of the words we are considering needs to be associated with another word in order to bring out the meaning of both. In this case the second word is, of course, " Master ".
" If any man serve me, let him follow me ; and where I am, there shall also my servant be : if any man serve me, him will my Father honour ", John 12. 26.
This is the only occasion when the Lord used the expression " my servant " and it is hi connection with the servant's pathway. In verses 24 and 25 He had spoken of His own pathway, (a) the alternatives - to die or not to die, to hate His life or to love it ; (b) the considerations to be kept in mind - present loss would mean eternal gain, and vice versa ; (c) the outcome - much fruit or no fruit.
Then He referred to the pathway of the one who comes within the description " my servant " - that it must be of the same character as His own, with similar alternatives, considerations and outcome. " Let him follow me ", i.e., tread the same pathway, choose as I chose. If the Master was scorned and rejected, the servant cannot expect to be appreciated and accepted. If the way for the Master was one of trial and sorrow, that of the servant will be associated with those things also.
Finally in verses 32 and 33, speaking again of Himself, He records how He chose, i.e., He did not love His life and He would bring forth much fruit.
Thus two courses are open to the believer : (a) to love his life, spending it in the enjoyment of the things that naturally appeal to men ; these may be seemingly unobjectionable but to go in for them will mean, according to the accounting of heaven, to lose his life and to experience future loss; (b) to hate his life, i.e., to leave those things alone as worthless, if not harmful, for even the. best of them will divert from something better : then present loss will be followed by eternal gain. One who is not prepared to adopt the second course has no claim to the description we are considering, however diligent he may be in Christian activities.
For those who choose as He chose, there are many rewards and two inducements are held out in verse 26 :
1. Where I am, there shall also my servant be. He is a unique Master: no other servants are treated like this. Earthly sovereigns do not think thus about their servants. The latter have their own place, which may be quite comfortable but is far different from that of those they serve : His servants share His place.
2. Him will my Father honour. So, as in the case of " My Sheep ", the Father is linked with these things. Not only does He secure the welfare and safety of the sheep He has given to the Shepherd, but He will see that due honour is given to the one who is truly His servant.