(Part 39)


November 14, 2017

Today’s gospel:  Luke 17:7-10

What makes for unity in Christ? Three things: holiness, servanthood and being holy warriors. In the gospel today we look at the attitude of a servant.

A servant, or a slave during the time of Jesus, had no rights. He had to have total obedience to the master, no matter what. He was usually given no consideration at all. Not even gratitude for his service. And so the master would not ask his servant who was tired from a day’s work in the field to come join him for supper at table. Rather, he would tell the servant to serve him his meal. Only after that could the servant himself eat.

That seems harsh. But Jesus was just speaking about the reality of being a servant. No gratitude was required. “Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?” (v.9). He was just fulfilling his duty as a servant. He was commanded, and so he did his work.

The lesson for us is that we as Jesus’ servants can make no claims on God’s graciousness. We are not in a position to expect or demand anything. But how many Christians who serve, including servant leaders, today no longer act as such?

  • Those who sulk when unrecognized.
  • Those who cling to power and position.
  • Those who are envious of fellow servants doing better than they are.
  • Those who feel overworked compared to others and resent it.

Notice that these are the very attitudes that lead to disunity in the body.

What then should be the attitude of a servant?

  • Just work without concern for self.
  • Be grateful for the privilege of serving Christ and brethren.
  • Never feel entitled to position or reward.
  • Be willing to go the extra mile.
  • Rejoice in the good fortune of fellow servants.
  • Never compete with others.
  • Embrace the suffering that comes with authentic service and exult in it.

Notice that these attitudes can never result in conflict with others and thus division in the body.

“So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (v.10).

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