We Are Unworthy Servants

unprofitable servant

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’” (Luke 17:5-10)

We Are Unworthy Servants

Finding the courage to forgive another takes a lot of faith and can seem an impossible task at times. The early disciples faced this when Jesus taught them to forgive someone even if he sins against them seven times in a day. They asked Jesus for greater faith and the Lord told them a story about a slave who served his master after a long and grueling day of service before preparing his own meal. Servants were common in the Biblical days and the disciples could easily see the lesson. A man works in the fields plowing or tending the sheep and when the work is done enjoys the respite of the end of the day. When the servant comes to the house, the master requires him to fix his supper and serve the master before preparing a meal for himself. This was the common practice of master and slave. Jesus asks the disciples if the master thanks his servant for the work he has done. It was not likely the servant would receive any remuneration for what he was required to do. The conclusion Jesus teaches the disciples is while it may be hard to forgive others for the harm done to them, the Father grants mercy to all men who have never deserved His mercy.

Man must serve God. There is nothing more fundamental to the existence of all humanity than to see their place in the scheme of all things. No man is more important than another and no man matters more to God than another. The reason is that all men are unprofitable slaves who are indebted to the grace of God. Jesus did not die for worthy men. God loved the world so much He gave His only begotten Son to die for those who His enemies, who were ungodly and those who had no strength. What right has a man to demand anything from God when the Creator is the Master of all men and holds their breath in His hand? When an individual does all he can do to please God he remains an unworthy slave who has simply done his duty.

Pride calls for the heart of men to demand freedom from servitude to the Lord. The world revolts against the law of God demanding their rights to live the way they choose. From the story of Jesus, it seems the slave comes in from the field and tells the master to fix his own meal and to make himself an equal. Man can never be equal to God. The teaching of Jesus is to show how unworthy, unprofitable, undeserving, and unfit every man is who stands before God. This does not diminish the character of man but exalts him if he submits to the rule of the Lord. God so loved the world (every man without exception) that God gave (His grace) His only begotten Son (His gift) to die for every man and woman that walks on the face of the earth. Jesus died for the rich and the poor because they were all slaves to sin. All nations are welcomed to the throne of God for grace if they would accept His will. It does not matter what color skin a person is, whether he is educated or not and it matters not if he lives three centuries ago or in the modern world; Jesus loved and died for all men because all men matter.

Every person needs Jesus Christ because all men are unprofitable servants. There is no grace greater or love higher than what God did in allowing His creation to kill His Son. In the body of Christ, all distinctions are removed as the blood of Christ cleanses the hearts bowed in submission. When the final judgment comes the souls of men will be presented uncolored before the Eternal Judge for either His love or His wrath. The unprofitable servants who have devoted their lives to serving Jesus Christ will be blessed. Those who have refused to submit to the servant-hood of Jesus Christ will face eternal darkness and suffering. At the end of the day, every man is unworthy. You chose whether you want to be a bond-servant of Christ.

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