We Are God’s Servants
“Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 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.’” (Luke 17:7-10)
In this parable Jesus teaches His disciples about their responsibility towards service for His kingdom. We are not to expect special praise for doing those things we have been given by God to accomplish! A servant receives no added praise from his master for simply doing his work. He receives his wages for his work. Likewise, as God’s servants, we too have certain responsibilities.
“Sometime after 1950 we forgot what Jesus said to Peter and what was passed on to us. ‘Take care of my sheep’ (John 21:16). There are ferocious wolves (Matthew 7:15). ‘You are to be a witness to the ends of the Earth’ (Acts 1:8). This is a commission that still holds true today. This is a very personal command to each believer, personally, privately. The all important question is whether you are getting out the work of God, or have you retired?” Wales Goebel
In Matthew, Jesus makes this same point in the Parable of the Talents:
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:26-30)
We certainly do not want to be a worthless servant thrown out into the darkness! It is God’s desire for us to bring forth fruit from the gifts and talents He has given us. We are held accountable for what we have received.
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
Paul’s goal was to hear a “Well done, good and faithful servant” from the lips of the Savior upon entrance into the heaven.
“This perspective on a day of judgment and the prospect of eternity had a salutary effect on Paul. It enabled him to persevere in the face of hardship (2 Cor. 4:7-12). And it motivated him to be faithful in discharging his ministry (1 Cor. 4:2-4).”
(The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Take It to Heart
“We must remember that God will never drag us along the path of true-hearted discipleship. This would greatly lack the moral Excellency which characterizes all the ways of God. He does not drag, but draws us along the path which leads to ineffable blessedness in Himself; and if we do see that it is for our real advantage to break through all the barriers of nature, in order to respond to Gods’ call, we forsake our own mercies. But alas! Our hearts little enter into this. We begin to calculate about the sacrifices, the hindrances, and the difficulties, instead of bounding along the path, in eagerness of soul, as knowing and loving the One whose call has sounded in our ears”.
(C H Macintosh, Notes on Deuteronomy)
“The truth and beauty of the gospel expose our idol-myths as feeble substitutes and garish counterfeits. And the power of the gospel enables us to break free from their enslaving and destructive grasp. Indeed, as our deliverer and liberator, Jesus is freeing us for the great adventure of living as characters in and carriers of God’s archetypal Story of all stories. It’s like being taken from starring in your own self produced, 8 mm black and white home movies to playing one of the hobbits in the grand production of The Return of the King.”
(Scotty Smith, Restoring Broken Things)