Colossians 3:22

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.

Colossians 3:22 Meaning and Commentary

Colossians 3:22

Servants, obey in all things your masters
That is, in all things relating to the body, and bodily service; not to the conscience, and religious worship; in things worldly, and not spiritual; in all things that are within a master's power, and it is lawful for him to command; and in all things that are fitting and proper that a servant should do; and even in such things as may be difficult, troublesome, and disagreeable to the flesh unto them; see ( Luke 17:7-9 ) who those servants are that are to obey, and who their masters, said to be according to the flesh, to whom they are to be subject, (See Gill on Ephesians 6:5).

not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in singleness of heart;
(See Gill on Ephesians 6:5), (See Gill on Ephesians 6:6).

fearing God;
who sees and knows all things, what servants do when their masters are absent from them, and to whom they are accountable; and a servant that fears God will make conscience of discharging his service faithfully, will not misspend his master's time, nor embezzle his goods, or waste his substance; but from a principle of reverential affection for God, and fear of him, with a concern for his name, and a view to his glory, will with all diligence, uprightness, faithfulness, and sincerity, do his duty, seek his master's good and interest, and cheerfully obey all his lawful commands. The Alexandrian copy reads, "fearing the Lord"; and so the Syriac version, "in the fear of the Lord".

Colossians 3:22 In-Context

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters,
24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Greek the same word is used for [master] and [Lord]
  • [b]. In Greek the same word is used for [master] and [Lord]