Verse: Luke 17:7-10
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
This passage doesn't resonate very well with our modern sensibilities. We read this and think, "that master is kind of rude! Shouldn't the servant get a break and a pat on the back at least!"
I think it's especially hard for us to think of Jesus telling this parable, and referring to himself as the master. It doesn't really fit into our picture of the loving Jesus.
So what's going on here?
For his disciples, this story would have sounded totally reasonable. Of course a servant doesn't get a big thank you, or get to eat first. That's what servants do. They serve.
Jesus is telling this right after telling them they can have faith to do miracles. We know the disciples at various times struggled with pride and the desire for power. Jesus, here, is reminding them that even with all the highs of doing ministry, in the end, it isn't about us. It is about the Master.
There is a humility and an honor to serving the Lord. We are called to ask the question over and over again, "what is your will, Lord?" As you start your day today, "what is your will Lord? How can I serve you today?" As you do your job, or raise your kids, or take classes, "what is your will today? How can I serve you?"
Our lives, if we choose to align them with his will, are not our own. They are his. And it is our great pleasure and joy to serve in his Kingdom. Serving Jesus will bring us greater fulfillment and joy than anything else. And the more we grow in maturity, the more we realize how unworthy we are to do this, and what great love and grace he shows us to welcome us in.
As David said in Psalm 84:10, "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." He did not need recognition or status or power, he just needed God.
And in the end, after a lifetime of faithful service to a loving God, we will hear the final words: "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21).
Lord remind me of the joy of my service to you. Show me each day how I can walk in step with the Spirit, and find the places of serving you and others that you are calling me into.