The Work of an Under-Rower

The word huperetes is one of the more unusual words for servant in the Greek language. The word huperetes means under-rower. The word originally referred to a rower on board a trireme or a war-galley. It later came to refer to someone who performed hard labor. Paul used this particular word when he wrote to the Corinthian believers.

“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God” (1 Cor. 4:1).

5 Aspects of an under-rower’s work.

• An under-rower had to row to the captain’s beat.
• The under-rowers had to row together.
• An under-rower had to trust the captain.
• An under-rower was committed for life.
• An under-rower received no honor.

Paul modeled the attitude of an under-rower.

• He was submissive because he rowed to the captain’s beat.
• He was sensitive because he rowed in harmony with others.
   There are 35 “one another” passages in the New Testament.
• He was trusting because he didn’t care where he labored.
• He was dedicated because he was willing to die at his post.
• He was humble because he wanted no glory for himself, only for his captain.

We should adopt the attitude of an under-rower.

• Obey our master. Order our steps according to his cadence.
• Cooperate with our fellow servants. Sail with the fleet.
• Trust the Lord to guide us. Put His preferences above our own.
Remain in service for a lifetime.
• Give Christ all the glory.

3 thoughts on “The Work of an Under-Rower

  1. Thank you for your explanation of an under rower. My bible study group is studying 1 Corinthians now and I wondered why Paul used this word for servant. I can now have a deeper understanding of 1 Corinthians chapter 4 and when he tells them to be imitators of me


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