Lectionary Year B
August 24, 2003
Ephesians 6:10-20

Step III: Immediate Context


Ephesians 6:10-20 concludes an entire series of exhortations, starting in chapter 4. It appears to be the last link of a chain, which is indicated by "finally" (tou loipou - v.10).

This pericope is concerned with the relationship between slaves and masters. According to the writer, slaves owe the same obedience with fear and trembling to the earthly masters, as they owe Christ. It is an obedience of singleness of heart that comes from the heart and is rendered even if nobody watches. Thus, being obedient has everything to do with living as slaves of Christ, doing the bidding of the Master, i.e. the will of God. The good we do, then, will not be rewarded by humans, but by God. But service to earthly masters is not a one-way street Earthly masters are to treat their slaves with respect, without threats, because slaves and master alike have only one Master in heaven. And this Master does not regard earthly hierarchy as anything special. This Master is impartial.

The writer of Ephesians alludes to a certain Tychius who will vouch for the writer's credentials and work. In return, the writer identifies Tychius as a "dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord (v.21)." This minister has a twofold task: he is messenger as well as encourager. The writer, then, concludes with a benediction.

| Return to Gospel text listings | Return to Epistle text listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |