Luke 17:10 “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.'”
I don’t remember how many years ago this first struck me, but it has stayed with me since. We rebel at the idea of being owned, but Paul has some pointed words on the subject. “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16) Slavery was very much a part of society in New Testament days, and everyone understood the concept. Sadly enough, there are actually more slaves today than at any time in history, but it is being done “under the radar,” so to speak. One of the ironies of human existence is that we are truly free only when we are fully obedient to our Creator. He owns us in point of fact, and the better we realize that, the more fulfilled and happier we will be.
With all of that in mind, what grips me about this verse is my awareness of how partially I have done what God wanted of me. My greatest desire is to hear Him say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) but I am very aware of times when I have gone only part way, or have even gone off on a tangent entirely. On my own, I’m not entitled to even a pat on the head, much less the riches of glory that God has prepared for me in Christ. As Jesus says here, I’m not to be focused on rewards but on obedience. That’s what brings the best rewards!
Father, this is much less than I usually write, but the message is a simple one. Help me apply it fully. May I be a reliable servant, fully trustworthy, so that Your purposes may be accomplished through me for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!