7 “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”
Luke 17:7-10, NLT
We must come to this understanding. We work hard, plowing and shepherding– all hard work. This is fact. But when we do finally come in, we find that we can’t rest. We must serve our master.
When we do, there is no glory in it. We simply put on an apron, and we try to serve the master while he eats. And there is no approval, and no acknowledgement of the sacrifice that we have made. No applause.
In Luke 17 we read that servants have zero rights. We find ourselves in captivity to the will of somewhat superior to us. We don’t dictate, rather we are dictated to. This is tough. As Americans used to a measure of personal freedom, this is absurdly intolerable. “I will never be a slave to someone else” we announce boldly.
When we do read Luke 17, we should read it for what it really means. Verses 7-9 presses into verse 10. But v. 10 won’t happen until we accept and believe the verses that are previous, and outstanding.
What Jesus is stating is that any obedience to Jesus is never quite an option. All that we do is all that we should do. When we start to be really faithful, it is acknowledged but never really savored. Our obedience is never a way to make us impervious to correction, or discipline.
V. 10, ‘In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”
At this point we are ready for this, we have truly run the gauntlet of the previous verses. Unless we truly process vv.7-9, we will never truly grasp v. 10. These verses can only be understood as “stacked.”
Unworthy servants is our role. It is just understanding who we really are. We are a servant and we don’t truly measure up. We have simply have done our duty. We are nobody special, just one of millions who have received His grace. We really must process this before we can progress in Him.
Servants, not powerful leaders– or distinguished teachers. We are honestly none of these. We are mere slaves, but loved ones. We must rest in this. His love for each of us makes this easier than we ever thought.
Someone long ago once told me, “The purpose in life is not to find your freedom– but to find your master.”