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My Pierced Ear

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted October 23, 2013

RELIGION – Styles and fashion come and go. I got into fashion for a brief bit when I worked at a clothing store in college. I thought I was pretty hot stuff; I was all about wearing a dress shirt with a t-shirt over the dress shirt. It is a great look; you should try rocking it sometime. I had my hair sort of spiky, and I used a scented hair wax. (The wax from my hair would melt on my head and something that looked like Crisco would run down my forehead).  

Thankfully, I had friends who laughed at me behind my back and finally stepped in to tell me I looked like a big duffus, and several other names. They chunked my hair wax, and I went back to Cargo pants and hooded sweatshirts. 
There was one trend I never got into, pierced ears. It got really popular when I was in junior high. All my friends with rat tails started showing up with one earring in their ear. They thought they were cool! I went with a buddy to get his done and frankly I found the whole thing barbaric. After seeing a hole punched in my buddy’s ear, and seeing the pain he was in, I decided then, I have enough holes in my body! I told my friends that my mom would not let me get my ear pierced, although she really did not care.
This came to mind last week as I was reading from Exodus 21:5–6 “But if the slave plainly says, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free” … his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”
The deal is a slave would serve a master for a certain number of years to pay off a debt. But if when the debt was paid off, the slave loved his master, he could voluntarily choose to stay a slave. What is interesting is that it is never shown in the Bible or any other ancient historical records that we find a single instance in which a servant made the choice referred to in Exodus 21.  I mean, even with a good master, as a slave you are not your own. You have surrendered your will to another person.

So why did God even suggest such a scenario? Why even mention the option of a slave developing such a strong, loving relationship with his master (and with the wife and children he’d acquired during his years of service) that he did not wish to be rightfully, legally released from his obligations?

Jesus told us in Luke 24:27 that from the “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” The entire Bible looks to Jesus; from Genesis to Revelation.  This, like so many other Old Testament pictures, was meant to point us to Christ—and to depict our relationship with Him. Going further, when Jesus came to earth, Philippians 2:7 says that He took, “the form of a servant”.

Nancy Leigh Demoss writes that “You see in obedience to His Father’s will and out of love for Him—and for the bride and family His Father had given Him—He offered Himself as a bond slave so He could deliver those who were in bondage to sin (Heb. 2:10–18). Speaking prophetically of the atoning death of Christ, the psalmist David wrote, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced. … I desire to do your will, O my God” (Ps. 40:6, 8 NIV).”

She continues and writes that “Through the example of Christ, we see what no one before Him had ever chosen to do—to bear willingly the marks of His submission, becoming the bond slave who symbolically fulfilled the literal exchange described in Old Testament law.”

So Jesus chose to lay aside His will and take the Father’s will of the cross. He surrendered His will to the will of His Father. How about you? Are you willing to be marked as a follower of Jesus? You getting ears pierced back in the day meant going along with the crowd of what was popular and cool. But now, having an ear marked by Jesus and heart changed means going against the grain and the tide of what is popular. 

If you desire to truly be a follower of Jesus, you really have no choice. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 10:32-33 “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, (33) but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

James goes further and writes in James 4:4 “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

John also writes in 1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  (16)  For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world.  (17) And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

So will you choose to make Jesus known and live a life that is different from the world? Or will you go along with the world and reflect its values and priorities? Will you choose to serve the one who served you by dying on the cross of will you continues to serve all your own selfish wants and desires?
I never had a rat tail or my ears pierced, I am sorry about the hair wax. My conscience is clean!

Pastor Phillip


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