Parable of the Dutiful Slave.

October 23, 2020 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: The Parables of Jesus

Topic: Christian Living, The Gospel Scripture: Luke 17:7–10

God’s way of motivating us toward obedience and humility is to keep us focused on the cross of Jesus Christ. As Paul said, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). “May it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). 

The parable Jesus teaches in this text, is that about a dutiful slave. The required attitude of an obedient slave is to do his duty joyfully and with gratitude. Jesus makes it clear in this passage that we ought to serve God in humility and gratitude, in love and joy.  

A slave is required to obey his master’s commands. When he obeys every single command of his master, he is simply performing his duty, as he is supposed to perform. There is nothing meritorious at all in doing what he is supposed to do.

The only person who ever merited God's favour is the Lord Jesus Christ and that is because He did something voluntarily that you and I were commanded to do - that we didn't do. He obeyed God's Law perfectly and then He took on Himself the penalty for our breaking that Law, and as a result earned the free grace blessing that God poured out on all those that trust in Him. So that God saves us not because of what we've done or because of our merit but because of what Jesus has done and therefore all of our service ought to be done with humility and gratitude.

The truth is that God does not owe us anything. There is nothing whatsoever that we can do that will earn or merit us favour with God. But we struggle so much with our own self-righteousness. Bishop J. C. Ryle said, “He that desires to be saved must confess that there is no good thing in him, and that he has no merit, no goodness, no worthiness of his own. He must be willing to renounce his own righteousness, and to trust in the righteousness of another, even Christ the Lord.”

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the difference between a servant and a slave?
  2. How would you counsel a believer who excused his disobedience by saying, “I just don’t have the faith to do it”?
  3. How is the Master/Servant relationship depicted in Luke 12:35-37?
  4. The Bible nowhere tells us that we need to grow in self-esteem, but many times it exhorts us to grow in humility. Why is this so?

More in The Parables of Jesus

November 27, 2020

Parable of the Wicked Tenants.

November 20, 2020

The Parable of the Ten Minas.

November 13, 2020

The Reason for the Parable.