What God Has Trusted Us With: Luke 17:1-10

Focus Passage: Luke 17:1-10 (NIV)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 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.’”

Read Luke 17:1-10 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

Occasionally, I wonder where we fit into the grand scheme of being servants of God.

In the 2,000ish years since Jesus walked on this earth, a lot has changed in the culture, and I think that in the amount of time that has passed between the New Testament authors and us living today, we don’t fully understand one of the key truths that Jesus is sharing in this passage. Quite simply, our first world culture doesn’t allow us to really understand this.

The part of this passage I am referring to is verses 7 through 10:

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will 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.’ ”

In our first world culture, we expect to have “time off”, “vacation”, and/or other benefits for working for someone or some company. While we have an incredible benefit package being connected with God, Jesus’ words in this passage seem to indicate that when we sign up for serving God, we give up our lives, and any piece of “self” that we want to have. Our time is now no longer “our time”.

Is this what Jesus is saying here, or is He hitting on a deeper truth that lies under the surface?

Part of me thinks this teaching pushes us to look deeper. All too often, we like to see the scriptures from our perspective in places where God might be trying to teach us things from His perspective. I think this passage blends the two ideas; I think we are to take this passage as understanding our role as servants of an eternal God.

This passage places on us the responsibility of giving up ourselves to God’s will. This is not God being a dictator, but God telling us that every single second we are alive, we are His witness to others. We are never to let the glory for this rest on ourselves, but instead, we are to always be pointing upward to our “Master”.

The closing words hold the key. We are to picture ourselves as “unworthy servants” who “have only done our duty.” There should be no pride drawing focus onto us. This passage speaks to us in light of our role as ambassadors of Jesus.

God is not a dictator. He is Someone who empowers us to be His representatives. This is not a role to be taken lightly. With great responsibility comes great trust. We are God’s servant-representatives to the world. He has trusted us with carrying on His character.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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