“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon. — Matthew 6:24, World English.
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and mammon.” – Luke 16:13, World English.
The thought is often presented that if Yahweh is Lord, and Jesus is also “Lord”, then there are two masters, and Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters. The thought seems to be imagined and assumed regarding Jesus’ words that Jesus and the Father must both be one master, else we would serving two Masters, and thus that we must either hate one or the other these two masters. This would seem to overlook the fact that the only true God, who sent Jesus, is the one who made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Anointed One). — Exodus 3:14,15; Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Isaiah 61:1; John 17:3; Acts 2:36; 3:13-26.
Nevertheless, to carry this argument forth to its logical conclusion, this would mean that to serve Jesus as Master would mean to hate the God and Father of Jesus, or that to serve the God and Father of Jesus as Master would mean that we would hate the one whom he sent forth, except that they both be but one master, rather than two masters. Wisely, Beza Theodore comments on “two masters”:
Who are at odds with one another, for if two agree they are as one.
Beza, Theodore. “Commentary on Matthew 6”. “The 1599 Geneva Study Bible”. 1599-1645.
Jesus’ own words agree with this, for the “two masters” (God and mammon) that he spoke of are at odds with each; they are not in agreement.
If one should think that Jesus had to be Yahweh, or else that we would be serving two different masters in opposition to each other as Jesus spoke of in the verses cited, then it would have meant that many in the Old Testament times either hated Yahweh and loved the one anointed by Yahweh, or else he hated the one anointed by Yahweh and loved Yahweh.
He said to his men, Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is Yahweh’s anointed…. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance [Strong’s #7812, transliterated Shachah, worshiped]. — 1 Samuel 24:6,9; World English.
Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. — 1 Samuel 26:17, World English.
Was David saying that he hated the Lord Yahweh by his recognition of Saul as the lord over him? Was he refusing to acknowledge Yahweh as “Lord”? Certainly not! Yet, he called Saul his lord, but notice how he later addressed Yahweh:
Then David the king went in, and sat before Yahweh; and he said, Who am I, Lord Yahweh, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? — 2 Samuel 7:18, World English
Notice that while David acknowledged Saul as “Lord”, as having been made so by Yahweh, yet he also refers to Yahweh as “Lord”. There is no thought in the scripture that David’s recognition of the one anointed (made christ) by Yahweh as “lord” would make Yahweh into an enemy of David.
King David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. They came before the king. The king said to them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel; and blow you the trumpet, and say, [Long] live king Solomon. Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne; for he shall be king in my place; and I have appointed him to be prince over Israel and over Judah. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: Yahweh, the God of my lord the king, say so [too]. As Yahweh has been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. . — 1 Kings 1:32-42, World English.
The above words show that Benaiah certainly did not improper to recognize David as his lord, and that he certainly did not believe that by doing so that he was becoming an enemy of Yahweh.
Someone may say that Jesus was laying down a new commandment, that was contrary to what was practiced in the Old Testament. We should note:
One of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and where did they come from?” I told him, “My lord, you know.” He said to me, “These are those who came out of the great oppression. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. — Revelation 7:13,14.
It should be obvious that when John referred to this elder as “my lord”, that he was not speaking to God nor to God’s son. However, when John referred to this elder as “my lord”, was he making Yahweh his enemy? Obviously not, since the elder was in accord with both Jesus and the God of Jesus.
Furthermore, in Revelation 17:15, we read that Jesus is “Lord of lords.” This signifies that he is not the only ‘lord’, but that there are others who are also “lords” over whom Jesus is the Lord. The angel speaking is referring to others than Jesus as “lords”. The “lords” being referred to here are evidently the kings who do battle with the lamb. More than likely it signifies that Jesus is such a powerful lord over these others who are “lords” that they could not gain victory over him. Jesus, however, is the “one lord” who has been made lord over the church; these kings are not lords over the church as such, but they, as being rulers of the world, are lords over Christians in secular matters. Paul wrote about such “lords” — rulers, saying: “Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those who be are ordained by God. Therefore he who resists the authority, withstands the ordinance of God; and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment. For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same, for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword in vain; for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil. Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For this reason you also pay taxes, for they are ministers of God’s service, attending continually on this very thing. Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-6) Was Paul here advocating subjection to these “lords” — rulers — of the world in such a manner that would be at enmity with God? No, not at all. Certainly, Paul was not advocating being subjection to them in any stance against God; surely Paul would agree with Peter and the other apostles that if any authority would tell us to disobey God, that “we must obey God rather than men.” — Acts 5:29.
As mentioned earlier, the only true God has at some point in time made Jesus to be our Lord. (Acts 2:36) The fact that the only true God made him lord over us does not signify the only true God is no longer “the Lord” Yahweh, nor does it mean that Jesus has to be Yahweh. Indeed, if it meant the latter, then, logically, it would mean that before Yahweh made Jesus to be our lord, then Jesus was not Yahweh, but that he became Yahweh when Yahweh made him our lord. In reality, however, when Yahweh made Jesus “lord”, Yahweh did not make him “lord”, or master, in opposition to Himself, as Jesus was the “two masters” that Jesus spoke of as recorded in Matthew 6:24 (or, Luke 16:13).
Related RL Studies
One God, One Lord – 1 Corinthians 8:6; Deuteronomy 6:4.
The Only Ruler Who Possesses Immortality — 1 Timothy 6:15,16.
Lord of Lords and King of Kings – Revelation 17:4; 19:16.
The “Lord” of David – Psalm 110:1.Click here for reuse options!
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