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The Parable about
the Faithful Servant


Luke 17:7-10 Luke 18:9-14

Service Notes


Luke 17:7-10
     7.  Imagine that you have a servant.  Your servant is out working in the farm fields or watching the sheep.  Then his work is finished and he comes into the house.  Will you tell him, "Sit down and eat.  I will cook and serve you dinner."?
     8.  No!  You will you tell the servant, "Go and prepare something for me to eat.  Serve me first.  Then you can eat and drink."
     9.  And if your servant does his job, will you tell him, "Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!"?  No!
    10.  That is also true for you.  When you finished doing everything God commands, you must say, 'We are worthless servants that deserve no praise.  We only finished doing our duty.'"
 

The Master = 

The Servant = 

Application to me:



Jesus told several stories using business principles for teaching spiritual truths --
Stories about money.
Stories about
    the relationship [connect] between servants and bosses.
    the relationship between rich people and their managers.

Our story today is short and simple.

Here again Jesus uses a business principle
    for showing us one important point
    about our relationship with God.

Jesus said:
Imagine that you have a servant.  Your servant is out working in the farm fields or watching the sheep.  Then his work is finished and he comes into the house.  Will you tell him, "Sit down and eat.  I will cook and serve you dinner."?  No!

Okay, maybe this is hard for us to fully picture in our minds.
Let us translate that to today's business world.

If you work for a company,
    you arrived on time,
    you did your job as you should,
    and when your shift was finished,
        you left and went home.

Did your boss come to you and his other workers
    asking you,
        "Are you okay?
        Do you have everything you need?
        Can I bring you anything?"

No, of course not!

And when your boss gave you a job to do,
    and you finished that job,
        what happened next?
The boss gave you another job to do.  Right?

You know that in the business world,
    workers who only do their job, 9:00-5:00, and nothing more,
        Do other workers respect them?  No.
        Do their bosses respect them?  No, not much.

Why? 
Their attitude isn't right.

If you are faithful in your work,
    you arrive early and willingly stay over time,
    you accept work that is not your responsibility.
    you have a cheerful attitude,

maybe you will get an "Employee of the year" award
    in a staff meeting,

and then three months later you get fired.

Well, that's what really happens in the business world.*


So, what's the point?  Why did Jesus tell this story?

 
He said,
That is also true for you.  When you finished doing everything God commands, you must say, 'We are worthless servants that deserve no praise.  We only finished doing our duty.'"

Jesus warned us about trying to impress God:

"On the last day many people will say to Me,
     ‘Lord, Lord, we preached in Your name.
    We commanded out evil spirits in Your name.
    We did many miracles in Your name.’
Then I will tell them clearly,
     ‘Go away from me, you evil do-ers. 
    I never knew you.’ (Matthew 7:22-23)

What!?  Why did Jesus reject them?

Notice that they all named their own religious works,
    and they completely ignore all that Christ did for them
        when He suffered and died on the cross for them!

"Hey, Jesus!  See the list of what I did!"

Sorry, our résumés don't impress Him.

Jesus says that if we want to earn our way to heaven, what must we do?
    "You must be perfect,
        same-as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:47)

How many of us can pass that test?  None.

When Peter first met Jesus,
    what did Peter say?
"Lord, please go away!  I am a sinful man."  (Luke 5:8)

When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord's glory,
    what did Isaiah say?
"I will die because I am a sinner and I live with sinful people,
and I saw the King, the Lord of heaven."  (Isaiah 6:5)


The Lord's angel took a hot coal from the altar in the temple,
    that represent's Christ's sacrifice,
and touched Isaiah's mouth, and said,
"God takes away your sins. 
He makes you holy." (v.7)


During all of Isaiah's many years of serving the Lord,
    Isaiah never forgot that lesson.

Many years later he said:
"All of our good works are as dirty menstrual rags." (Isaiah 64:6)

Paul, before he met Christ, he could brag how good he was.
    He was the best Pharisee in Jerusalem.
    He was excited for God and His laws.
    He looked-down on everyone else.

Then Paul met Jesus, and [PAH!]
    Paul finally understood.

Paul said,
"All that stuff that I thought that made me so good,
    now I see that is all garbage. 
Now I have Christ,
    not because I obey God's Law,
    but because I trust Him." (Philippians 3:7-9)

The Bible says:
God saves us, not because we do good holy works.  No.
He saves us because He has mercy.  (Titus 3:5)

God saves you by GRACE through FAITH.
That is not your doing.
That is His gift, not your works.
No one can brag.
God made us so He can do good works through us. (Eph. 2:8-10)

Jesus really wants to understand that, and trust Him.

He emphasized this again in another parable that you know:

Luke 18:9-14
Jesus told this story to some of the people that thought they were good and looked-down-their-nose at other people.

"Two men went to the temple to pray.  One man was a PHARISEE [religious law teacher] and the other man was a tax collector.

The Law teacher stood and prayed and said,
'God, I thank You that I am not the same-as other people that
    steal,
    cheat,
    do-adultery.
And I thank You that I am not the same-as
    that tax collector.
I fast [don't eat] twice every week,
and I give one tenth of all my things to the temple.'

But the tax collector stood far in back.
He looked down, not look-up to heaven, and beat-his-chest and said, 'God, please have mercy.  I am a terrible sinner.'

That tax collector went home saved.
But not the Pharisee."


We pray...
Lord, Jesus. 
We admit that all of our good works
    are never good enough.
We can't make ourselves perfect.
    But You are perfect.
And Your love and mercy are great.
Thank you for seeing us in our sin
    and still loving us so much
that You carried our sin to Your cross
    and there You paid our debt.
Thank you.

 


*True story:
One Christian man named Wayne Alderson was a manager for a small steel company.

That company was not very successful.  They had serious money problems.  They had conflicts with the workers' union.

So the board of directors fired the company president (CEO) and they promoted Wayne Alderson to the top office.

Several things about the way the business world worked bothered Wayne. 

Workers and managers were supposed to be enemies.
They stayed apart.

Managers had more concern about money and machines,
and less concern about the workers.

Wayne didn't like that.

He met every worker in the factory.
He learned all their names.
When workers came to the factory,
    Wayne stood near the gate and welcomed each one.
When workers went home,
    again Wayne stood near the gate and thank them
        for their hard work.

During the day Wayne walked around the factory
    asking the workers how they are,
    asking about their families,
    asking how the company can improve.

His office was always open.
Anyone could talk to him at any time.

At first, the union leaders were suspicious,
    and the workers were uncomfortable with Wayne's new way.

But in a short time, they all trusted him,
    and they loved him,
because they knew that he loved them.

The company started have good success.
Profits shot up.

A bigger company bought the small steel company,
    and they took control.

The new company didn't like Wayne's way for managing.
They ordered him to go back to the old. traditional way,
    that encourages conflict and struggle.

Wayne refused.

They fired him.

So Wayne established a service for teaching company managers
how to value people.

http://www.valueoftheperson.com

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