Are we Profitable Servants?
Luke 17:7-10 “But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
And will not rather say unto him, make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and after ward thou shalt eat and drink?
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
To do what was our duty to do, is to be found faithful in all our gifts and callings.
But everything we’ve been called to do; every work He would require at our hands, has been paid for already.
The full price was paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The power and plan to do is given to us, by Him; we have but to follow Him and do.
And when we have done that which was our duty to do, as His faithful servants?
We must say we are unprofitable servants; because what we do is not a matter of merit.
We are accountable to Him for our duty.
How is it then, we minister to His satisfaction? What is it that truly pleases Him?
It is what we become, ourselves, under His training, that pleases Him.
If in the end of our training, we are still arguing about the circumstances, or plan, or way, or anything; we are not much pleasure to Him. (Think of your child, who does the chores you tell him, but not until you have to yell at him, or practically drag him out to do it. When he is done, you do not have pleasure in the doing, but rather feel it would have been easier for you, to do it yourself.)
We may do what we are told, finally, for some reason. But the pleasure of the Lord in the doing, is that we are identified with Him in it.
That never happens if we are still at odds, in some way, with Him.
What He wants is a love relationship: so He uses the story of a servant who has worked in the field, yet still is to serve Him, in the house.
When we are busy all day, FOR Christ; we tend to forget (unless we have learned the lesson here), that we also need to Love Christ, personally. (Pictured in the setting before Him the food and drink, personally)
We need to become, under His hand, a loving disciple that will do anything (without thinking of the consequences), to please Him.
(The term, “under His hand”, is another phrase that you used to hear often; but don’t any more. Let me explain: My wife and I are older, and we are used to holding hands when walking, or I have my hand at her elbow, or on her shoulder.
Yes, it is good for balance; but also we can communicate with each other by the hands.
This is the same with the Lord’s hand. His touch, on our eyes, or ears, or shoulder, or elbow to turn us here or there; or away from this or that.
But as I know my wife likes my hand on her, so we should like the hand of God on us.)
The mature love of lovers, knows the things that please. So we should grow up: out of ourself life, into Christ’s life for us; and become lovers of God.
You may say that this parable is of a servant. Yes, and I say let us look to who Jesus was giving this to, and for what reason He gave this.
Jesus had been talking to His disciples about offenses.
There are many in this life: many which we do, and many which come to us. How were they to deal with them?
Rebuke the offender, or tell him you were offended: and if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he turns and does it seven times in a day; yet is sorry seven times, they were to forgive him each and every time.
The disciples, feeling totally inadequate (and who isn’t without the power of the Holy Spirit?), said:
Luke 17:5-6 “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto the sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea: and it should obey you.”
Here, then is the setting for the story of the servant: Faith is the workhorse of our Christians lives. It makes God real, and His Word hearable.
So we can know Him.
And we can, by faith have the power of God in our lives, and through them.
As His servants, we are to do our duty, Absolutely.
As His love servants, we are to become more and more in love with Christ; and become all we were created for.
A lover of God is a beautiful creation; for we are formed into His likeness, and character.