Unworthy Servants – Luke 17

Photograph of an aristocrat from Bandoeng with...

Photograph of an aristocrat from Bandoeng with his servant. Español: Fotografía de un aristócrata de Bandoeng con su sirviente. Français: Photo d’un aristocrate de Bandoeng avec son serviteur Nederlands: Foto. Adellijke persoon uit Bandoeng met bediende. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verse 7, Jesus begins asking his disciples whether (supposing one of them actually were in a position to have servants) they would tell them to drop what they were doing and come “recline at table.” And then asks whether one would normally thank their servant for doing what was commanded. We might see servants treated in such manner on television or in movies today, but such would not have been the custom in that place and time. Instead, Jesus says, they will tell the servant not only to come wait on them, but make sure they are dressed properly before doing so.

So, Jesus also says, when we have done all that we are commanded, we should realize that we are unworthy servants, who only have done our duty. This is certainly the attitude we should have as God’s children. It seems at first that Jesus is here in this chapter just throwing out random bits of spiritual wisdom. He begins the chapter talking about how we must forgive our brother when he repents, even if he has done wrong to us seven times. The number seven is not the limit, of course, but rather it represents countless instances (the number seven has always had great significance in scripture).

But does the brother that continues to do us wrong really deserve our forgiveness? Probably not. But by his repentance, he has done what he should do to be reconciled; and we are bound by God to forgive, just as he will forgive us. His worthiness is beside the point.  The second thing Jesus has spoken to in the previous verses is of boundless faith. We are capable of doing many great things that are according to God’s will if our faith is strong enough. It all begins by keeping His commandments, and realizing that by doing so, we have earned absolutely nothing. We only do our duty to Him by doing so.

We deserve nothing, but in our helpless unworthiness, we learn faith in the one true and living God because we know that we can trust Him. It is in this way, and with this attitude that we increase our faith day by day. Think of it as the surrender of doubt.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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