The Parable Of The Unprofitable Servants


‘Suppose one of you has a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Luke 17:7-10

Jesus shares a parable with His disciples concerning a master and his servant.

When the servant is finished ploughing or looking after the sheep, does the master tell the servant to sit at the table for dinner?

Of course not, the master tells the servant to make the dinner and serve the master while he eats. After the master has had his meal, only then does the servant eat and drink.

The point is that the servant waits on the master, and the master doesn’t wait on the servant. The master doesn’t thank the servant for his work, the servant is supposed to do what he was commanded. The master doesn’t have to thank him for doing so.

The point of this parable is clear when we read verse 10. Jesus says that when we have done everything that God has commanded us to do, here is what we’re supposed to say, ‘we are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.’

It is not the master’s responsibility to make life easy for the servant, God doesn’t exist to make our lives easier. It is the servant’s responsibility to work hard for the master, after we have worked hard for the master, we have only done our duty.

We don’t deserve any kind of special recognition. If we hadn’t done what we did, we would be a failure, we would be a rebellious servants. By doing all that God has commanded, we are simply being a servant.

Can you imagine the servant in the story going around thinking how awesome he was because he ploughed the field and made the master dinner?

What a fool! Those are your duties. That is what you were supposed to do. God owes us nothing!

There is nothing we can do to put God in a position of owing us something. There is nothing we can do to place God in our debt.