Tuesday 09 November 2010

Bible Book:

"Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?" (v.9)

Luke 17:7-10 Tuesday 9 November 2010


In this today's passage Jesus describes how a man's slave whohas been working all day ploughing, or looking after sheep, doesnot receive any special reward from his master. When he comes infrom a day's work he has to wait on his master before he can rest.The slave who does his duty is not entitled to areward. 

What does Jesus mean by this? Some might be shocked to hear himtaking about slavery in this way…

When Jesus told parables (stories with meanings) to his friends andthe gathered crowds he used scenarios that would be very familiarto them. Slavery was a common feature of life in 1st centuryPalestine and those listening would naturally agree with Jesus whenhe said that a slave wouldn't receive any reward for simply doinghis duty. Likewise, when a disciple has done all that God hasasked, the disciple has no claim upon God.

The Pharisees (the teachers of the Jewish Law) taught that goodworks were rewarded by God. The more you do, the greater thereward. But Jesus appears to be saying this is not the case. Youcannot put God in your debt. It is true that God rewards people fortheir faithfulness, but what is wrong is the attitude that seeksreward and thinks that it can lay claim upon God.

To Ponder

In light of the above, to what extent are goodworks important?

Do you ever put God in your debt?

Could this teaching of Jesus be seen as a warningto those in the Church who think that their service somehowentitles them to some sort of reward? What might be the reason forthis?

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