“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’”
“And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”
After years of ministry— this particular passage has slowly become one of my favorites. The path I’ve walked has been challenging, and it seems to me that I haven’t done it very well at all. I’ve been a fool much of the time, and yet, if anything, God has held me firmly in place. I haven’t always been faithful. But He has.
I used to kill rattlesnakes when I lived in Mexico. (You might say it was my hobby.) But it demanded a certain cautiousness, and lesson #1 was this–you never, ever take your eyes off of the snake–no matter what. We must approach ourselves that carefully. Our hearts are desperately wicked. We must understand this.
“I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, self.
Please let me explain what I’m thinking.
The Lord Jesus tells us one of those stories of his. This parable is one of his best. It makes a lot of sense, and it resonates within me. It tells me that I must watch myself, lest I forget the idea behind this passage. I’m His slave and not deserving some kind of special treatment.
Jesus’ parable explains our duty as His servant.
It seems that after a hard day’s work, a slave still needed to prepare his master’s dinner. No matter how much he toiled out in the fields, he had a duty to serve his master in this way; and it does seem unfair–we live in a land “where all men are created equal.”
But this is how the God’s Kingdom works.
We get dirty, we toil hard, and we sweat under the hot sun. We dream of a glass of cold lemonade (with ice), and a cool shower when we quit the fields. But that isn’t the way it works. Yes, Jesus gives his laborers rest–but the work continues.
The work goes on, even when God buries his workers. Hopefully, the next generation will continue my almost humble efforts, and his work in his fields will continue. But, in the meantime I must “watch” myself carefully, and do his will out in his fields.
Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives.
Yes, it’s a foreign concept, and we can’t really relate–we either skip its message, or apply it to others. Jesus uses it quite adroitly, the servant works for his master; completely, exclusively. A slave who has no rights of his own. We serve and obey our Master.
Any desire for promotion, pleasure, riches, or fame will quickly make one a servant of the Beast. And, I’m afraid, that is exactly what many of today’s pastors and preachers have become.