Luke 17:7–10 (ESV): Unworthy Servants
Luke 17 (ESV) seems to be a grab-bag of various topics all put together; at a glance, I didn’t see a theme unifying all of the stories in this chapter. (Perhaps if I’d tried harder I might have come up with something…) So this is a small passage, pretty isolated on its own:
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17:7–10 (ESV); Jesus speaking)
It’s a short passage, and I don’t have too much to say about it, except that this is definitely not something that comes naturally to us! One of the hardest adjustments I had to make in my thinking, when I first became a Christian was to start thinking of Christianity as being about God, not about me. That shift in thinking opened up a lot of understanding as to what the Bible means in certain passages. This could be one of them (though I don’t remember specifically). The idea of thinking of myself as a servant of the Lord surely wouldn’t have come naturally!
What’s also interesting is that our attitudes should be very different from God’s attitude.
- My attitude should be that I’m God’s unworthy servant, doing His bidding to the best of my ability (as is right)
- His attitude is going to be, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
My attitude is closer to what is actually deserved, while His attitude flows out of His Grace.