Can You Really Serve Two Masters?

I have a cartoon drawing in my office from many years ago. It really doesn’t make any sense today so I don’t leave it where people can see it.

It says this, “Who says you can’t serve two masters?”

It was drawn by my buddy Joe McKeever who is renowned for his ability to doodle as he calls it.

I remember exactly how it came about. We were both on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I was a seminary professor and he was a visitor in the cafeteria that doubled as a coffee shop. We both sat down and in five minutes or less he had drawn a picture of First Baptist Church Covington and New Orleans Seminary. Each building had a sign in front. One said, “Dr. Waylon Bailey, Professor” and the other said, “Dr. Waylon Bailey, Pastor.”

At the time, I served both the church and the seminary. Joe’s question in a cloud asked, “Who says you can’t serve two masters?”

Joe wasn’t trying to diminish the teaching of Jesus. He was simply saying how hard it is to serve two masters.

Jesus said it couldn’t be done. That was why I finally had to make a decision. As much as I loved teaching, especially teaching the Hebrew language, I followed my heart and began to serve fulltime at FBC Covington. That was twenty-two years ago and it has been a great run.

You really can’t serve two masters. In those days I often found myself needing to do two things at the same time. I tried to make wise decisions but I sometimes had to make a choice.

That’s exactly what Jesus meant. In an age of slavery, you simply couldn’t have two masters. Either you obey one or you disobey the other. Using language that was completely understandable to a Hebrew audience, Jesus said, “For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus says that money (instead of Satan) is our rival.

Are you serving God or money? Which is taking precedence in your life? Which is really your master?

We all have to come to a basic decision in life. Who will we serve and who will we follow?

How you answer that question will determine your life now and your life for all eternity.

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2 Responses

  1. Dr Bailey, I serve two, God always first and my wife always. The good thing is if you always serve God first it’s not hard to serve your wife.

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