Ownership is not a popular subject. Embraced is the idea of self possession handed down from John Locke who said “Every man has a property in his own person; this nobody has any right to but himself” We don’t need to read John Locke to understand this, my three year old very much so believes he is the owner of himself, but is he really? Could there be freedom in being owned?
The idea of self possession is contrary to the story Scripture clearly presents. Kelly Kapic captures this in his book “God so loved He gave” “The expansive view of God’s ownership is found not merely in a few obscure passages of Scripture, but it is an ever present assumption throughout the whole Bible.” Why is this an important point? It’s important to mention the sufficiency and primacy of Scripture because within it is the story of a Creator creating creatures for Himself. How easy would it be to fall into self ownership based off any other given narrative?
The Scriptures portray the beauty of having a good master and the destructiveness of not. Can you imagine the beauties of the garden while we were content to have God be our master? Destruction and darkness come into play when we decided to be our own masters and make our own choices. Even still, our Chief Shepherd cares a great deal for His sheep, Jesus our Savior said “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10) Don’t miss that bold statement “I know my own” Those of us who belong to Jesus are not our own but are in fact His. But notice how He owns, “I lay my life down for the sheep”. Jesus is not a cruel Master, He is a self giving Master. As M. Douglas Meeks says so very well “God owns by giving”.
Is it not a frightful thought to be our own? To have all the control? What is to happen when we have no control? When troubles sweep in like a tsunami? The disciples in the stormy sea turned to their Master in their fear, the Master stood up with a word and made the sea as glass, “be still” and it was done! “We are His property; therefore, He watches over us as His own, so that not so much as a hair can fall from our heads without the will of our heavenly Father. Our safety does not lie in our own hands, or strength; for if it did, we should lose it a thousand times every moment. Kelly Kapic
We are “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1) according to Paul and we have been bought with a price “For you are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” (1cor6) In the blood of Jesus there is a hiding place for sinners like ourselves, in the victory of Jesus there is protection “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil” (eph6) We are not our own but belong solely to Him.