Posted by: Chris Avery | June 12, 2008

Unworthy Slaves

Luke 17:1-10 with focus on 7-10

 1He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!

   2“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.

   3“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

   4“And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

   5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

   6And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.

   7“Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’?

8“But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’?

9“He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?

10“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'”

For some reason  I was looking for the part about slaves only doing what is required of them (7-10). There were some other things that I liked above it, so I figured I would post that as well. I was thinking about the times when I get a very heart-felt thank you from someone after they’ve read one of my blogs or myspace bulletins. I usually say thank you. It’s always good to know that you’ve helped out a brother or sister in Christ. It can be hard to keep up at times if you feel like no one is reading what you post. I usually post things that I have personally got something out of, so it doesn’t take too much more time for me to share them. Anyway, I realized that I can’t really take credit for the things I post. First of all, I usually repost other people’s thoughts. Second, I’m only doing what’s required of me. Third, we’re all just adding our interpretations and thoughts to what God has already said.

There is also a similar statement in Job

2“Can a vigorous man be of use to God,
         Or a wise man be useful to himself?
      3“Is there any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous,
         Or profit if you make your ways perfect?

(I hope that’s in context)

There are also those times when we feel horrible because we aren’t doing the things we should be. At this point we are an “unworthy slave”. If we were to perform all our duties perfectly, we will still just be an “unworthy slave”. This might bring you low, but that’s where the gospel comes in. There is nothing we can do to merit God’s favor. God will never be our debtor. The great news is that all his blessings are of grace. We must admit that this is much better than us trying to earn his favor. We are free to love Him instead of just serving him for some reward we might get.



  1. I have to agree. When I forget that my goodness doesn’t count for anything, I tend to think, “well I have been very christian lately”… or if I forget that Christ died to cover my failures, I start to get very sad and frustrated that I can’t live up to God’s expectations. Living by the spirit is a continual marathon not a sprint as some people have said. We might fall at times but we need to finish the race. And God doesn’t give us heaven based on whether we are first or not, but whether we finished our race faithfully. But, I am very tired at this moment and am afraid I might have messed up the last part of that, lol anyway… I know what you mean though. I definitely feel like an unworthy servant, but I feel that way almost all of the time. And not in a way of gratitude, but in a way taht is like, “ugh I stink”. … I think if we are looking at this properly we should have an attitude of immense gratitude and a heart characterized by love in word and importantly, action.

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