Unworthy Servants – Luke 17
Unworthy Servants – Luke 17
Luke 17:10 — 10 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.’
God’s word is His instruction on doing right. Any and all deviation from it is sin. There are two ways to deal with such sin - suffer the punishment or be forgiven. We cannot undo it. We cannot make it up by doing ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ acts. Every righteous act we do is simply what we OUGHT to do. This would be a hopeless situation if it were not for Jesus.
In Jesus we find forgiveness. "…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:8-11).
With such forgiveness we are then declared righteous. Our sins are no longer held against us. We are redeemed from our debt of punishment. We that were enemies by our actions and character are reconciled unto God. We that were dead IN our sins have been made alive unto God. We that were under the power of darkness have been translated into the kingdom of light.
Do we deserve any of this? Of course not - we deserved punishment. That is why it is said to be by the graciousness and mercy of God. This is why it is reprehensible for Christians to become puffed up, arrogant, and smug about their situation.
In this statement of Jesus we also see that we simply are never done obeying God to the fullest of our abilities. No matter how much and how long we obey, we are yet obligated to do right. As Jesus phrased it: ‘it is our duty’. No matter how good we are, we yet fall short of the standard of judgment.
The mistake made by many who read the bible is to then conclude that Jesus has put NO conditions / requirements on such forgiveness. He has. Such conditions include putting our trust in Jesus, repenting of our sins, confessing Him before men, and being baptized in His name (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30; Rom. 10:9-10; etc.). Such do not ‘earn’ forgiveness - for when we have done them we are “yet unworthy servants” who have found mercy and forgiveness. There is no ‘bragging’ about repentance or being baptized. There is just profound thanksgiving unto God for His mercy.
This statement is followed by the story of healing 10 lepers. Only one of them, a Samaritan of all things, returned and gave thanks for this unspeakable gift. We need to follow the example of this x-leper and continually give thanks unto God as we walk before Him.