Today in my reading I read Luke 17 where we find the parable of the unworthy servant. The story is that they are working in the field and after a long days work come in the house to eat and the question is asked by our Savior, that after a long day will the master ask the servant to come to the table and eat? No, he will require him to change his clothes and serve the master a meal for that is his work. Then he asks if the master will thank the servant for doing what is commanded? Once again it is a resounding “NO”. This is where we find verse ten which speaks greatly to what is on my heart, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”
So many times we find ourselves, especially this time of year, thinking that we are deserving of rewards or blessings because of our service to Christ and his church. That somehow we have won the favor of God by our works and we want our payment. Whether it come from the praise of men, or some physical thing that we see ourselves worthy of, but that it should be rewarded to us because of our faithfulness. Yet we find here in this parable by Christ that after all the work is done, work that was given to us by our master, work that is not earning points or winning God’s favor, but simply what we were set apart to do, that the condition of our position before God does not change based on our performance, but on the work of His Son on the cross.
The other day I was watching one of those nature shows on netflix. It was about jungles or something. I really enjoy those type of shows, I always have. They were showing so many different kinds of birds that are found in the jungles all over the world. But specifically they were showing all kinds of crazy things these birds do to win the favor of their mate. Basically the male who performs the best wins the female. It was quite humorous to watch as these birds danced and sang and all different sorts of things so that they would be found worthy of fathering the chicks. This type of mentality is so instilled in our society that we see everything as a competition, and in the christian world the thing we are striving to gain is acceptance by the King. This way of thinking is absolutely absurd! When the work day is over we in and of ourselves will be found as unworthy servants, and the only hope we have is in the perfect One, Christ, whose work is worthy of praise from the Father, but more so his person.
I warn you, do not make common holy things! Do not take holy work that God has given us, of which can only be completed by Christ working in us, and make it as though it is yours, or as if you have some claim to it. It can only be owed by Christ. It is a great danger to humanize the things of God. To take what he has given us through grace in Christ and try to present them to him as though it were all ours and that we are now deserving of his approval and gifts. In the end, we are unworthy servants. None has done as he should. None has served wholeheartedly. This is our great need for Christ! I encourage you, this holiday season celebrate Christ, his humiliation in being born of a woman, his perfect life, his sacrificial death, his powerful resurrection, his great ascension and presentation to his Father, and his blessed intercession on behalf of his people, of which we are in dire need!