“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
We are servants. We are the children of God, fellow heirs with Jesus to an eternal inheritance, and we are even called His friends. And we are also His servants. But being His servant is not a disgrace. It’s an honor.
This particular servant did the things he was commanded to do. It was his duty.
In the same way, after we have done all the things Jesus commands us to do, the only thing we can say is that we are unprofitable servants, having merely done what was our duty.
Our duty. It is to do all the things our Master has commanded us to do.
That’s… a lot.
“Follow Me.” “Love one another as I have loved you.” “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” “Do not worry.” “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth.” “When men hate you… rejoice in that day and leap for joy!”
“Follow Me.” There will always be room to follow closer. “Love one another as I have loved you.” Our feeble attempts to love others cannot match the love God has for us. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” People die every day who have not heard the Gospel. “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” Often we aren’t really believing what God has told us, or that we are the temple of the living God, or that the Spirit of God dwells in us; if we did, we would live our lives differently. “Do not worry.” We worry about what to wear, what to eat, what we will do tomorrow… “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth.” We find joy in earthy pleasures and make them our treasures. “When men hate you… rejoice in that day and leap for joy!” We…. don’t really leap for joy when we are persecuted. We argue the logic.
And those are just a few of Jesus’ commands. And there are more after the Gospels.
So, not only are we unprofitable in that we don’t go above and beyond what we are told, we don’t even do all that we are told. So we are less than unprofitable servants.
I cannot take credit for anything that I “do for God”.
First of all, whatever I “do for God” is my duty.
Second, I don’t even do all that is my duty.
Third, what I actually do, I do with what my master has given me.
He gives me every breath I take, but I don’t use every breath for His glory; sometimes I use it to accomplish the opposite. He gives me a life, but I don’t live every second to please Him; often I live to please my flesh. He gives me a diamond to value and use and polish, but I am lazy and frequently do not; sometimes I bury it.
There is absolutely nothing that I can do of myself in which I can take pride or boast or think highly. Rather, I ought to feel humbled that my master has chosen this unprofitable servant to be His. Why would the Almighty, the infinite, eternal, perfect, all-knowing, holy God, the Creator of the universe, choose me to be His servant?
Being His servant is not a disgrace. It’s an honor.