(Part 89)


November 10, 2015

Today’s gospel:  Luke 17:7-10

We who are servant leaders many times do not understand servanthood. We are like the servant mentioned by Jesus. “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending the sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?” (v.7). We do serve Jesus our Master, going out into the world to sow the seed and nurture it, and to take care of God’s flock, but then, having done that, expect Jesus now to serve us. We want to be prominent at his table; we want to be recognized, to be thanked, to be honored; we want to be paid, in terms of getting our prayers answered and our burdens lifted.

Know this, fellow servant leaders. There is only one Master and that is Jesus. We serve him, and not vice versa (though he does wash our feet). We are privileged to care for and lead his people, but we are all servants and slaves. We serve only to please our Master, and not to please or to satisfy ourselves. “Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?” (v.8). We are to give our all, expecting nothing back (except the satisfaction and joy of the privilege to serve). We are to serve him 24/7. We are to look only to what is for his good and for his glory.

“Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?” (v.9). To serve is our duty, our responsibility, God’s command, and our privilege. We ought to be the ones grateful that God uses us sinners to do divine work! We are simply to obey. “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). And we often foul up the work, don’t we? Thank God that He is able to accomplish His work in spite of us. 

Now don’t get me wrong. Jesus our Master certainly is thankful for our service and will be generous in rewarding us, but these are not ours to expect, and much less demand. If you don’t get recognition, gratitude and renown for your efforts, do you sulk? Rather, work even harder. Rejoice in not being recognized and extolled. Let the glory be only to God.

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