The Parable of the Obedient Servant

Luke 17: 7-10

DIG: How might the apostles plea relate to Jesus statement in Luke 17:3-4? What does Messiah’s response really mean? What attitudes should we have in serving Him?

REFLECT: Yeshua wants your full obedience. Are you holding anything back from the Master? Your finances? Your love life? Your job? Your kids? Is He Lord of your life, or do you tend to give Him a little help now and then? How’s that working for you?

The one main point to the parable of the obedient servant is just as a servant is subject to the master’s will, so are we subject to our Master’s will.

Christ now spoke to the Twelve regarding the obligation resting on them as humble servants of God. He said to His apostles: 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 (Luke 17:7-9)? A Servant does not get special praise for doing what they are expected to do. The servant was subject to the master’s will, and the servant gave proof of being a good and faithful servant by doing what the master commanded.

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants, not deserving of thanks or reward. It is not that ADONAI wants the groveling common to servants, but the absence of pride expected of those who know that obeying Him is a matter of duty, saying: We have only done our duty” (Luke 17:10). The Pharisees served God for reward; His talmidim were to avoid the leaven of pride. There was no room for boasting and the apostles needed to remember who was to serve whom. The Hebrew uses several different names for YHVH or “the name” (see Ac- Introduction to the Life of Christ: The Use of ADONAI). Ha'Shem is more formal, like “sir,” or “father,” while ADONAI is less formal, like “daddy,” or “papa.” While we love to climb up in ADONAI’s lap, we must never confuse kindness for weakness. Ha'Shem is supreme (see my commentary on Revelation Al – I Turned Around and Saw Someone like a Son of Man).

Yes, the Lord washed the feet of His talmidim (see Kh – Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet) as an example for what they should do for others. But on the night He was betrayed, Jesus reminded them of the lesson of this parable saying: Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Yes, the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). But other than that, He does not serve us . . . we serve Him. There will always be a need to emphasize this, for at times believers tend to reverse these roles and see God as their servant. Kind of like, “we ask and He gives” thinking. This is nothing more than trying to play God. Whereas the sovereign God delights in blessing His servants (Luke 12:35-37), we must always remember that He is the Lord of all creation and that we are, at the very best, forgiven sinners.1140


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