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What is the meaning of the parable of the 'unworthy servant?'

When the Bible says; "So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done." Who is unworthy servant in this context?

Luke 17:10

ESV - 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.'

Clarify Share Report Asked May 27 2015 9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya

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9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya Pastor at Springs of Power Church, Teacher by professional
What is being the unworthy servant? Being the unworthy servant can be said to be a servant who is not by merit, qualification, ability or social status, but he only is by factors all dependent on the appointing authority. For it is not that the one who is appointed a servant has done much to be so. 

Thus Paul says he was only a servant by way of being counted faithful (1Tim 1:12). Paul meant that; it was not because he had been faithful, but rather that; he had only been counted faithful. For many others (more so those of the team of the disciples), could have served in Paul's place (by virtue of their status) (having been with Jesus), but that it was him chosen to do so, could have never been because of factors dependent on him. For he had been the least of all the disciples and the lead persecutor of the Church (1Cor 15:9), (1Timothy 1:13), (Philippians 3:6), (Ephesians 3:8), (Galatians 1:13). For in the human sense, Paul can't have been the figure he is in Church affairs.

Jesus told the parable of the unworthy servant to the disciples in (Luke 17:7-10). Jesus must have aimed this parable at the disciples because He was preparing them for ministry. He wanted them not only to assume titles (but to acquire the character of the calling). Jesus must have been well aware (for according to how He was teaching) that the human instinct, which is but blend with the satanic pride would sway the disciples from the reality of the ministry to rather only consider the titles (as leaders) than to consider it as a calling to serve.

While at the last supper, an argument cropped up amongst the disciples as to who was to be greater than the other (Luke 22:24). This was a clear indicator that while they were with Jesus, the disciples must have had something boiling in them in this regard. For it can't be that it only came up at this particular moment. The disciples only happened to have an opportunity to talk over it at this particular moment. But Jesus replied to them that; the leader amongst you shall be your servant (Luke 22:25-27), (Matt 20:26, 23:11). In saying this to the disciples, Jesus wanted to deal with the personal egos which tend to override everyone while in positions of leadership. For it is not rather about being the leader, but what you do as a leader. The very reason Jesus emphasized to the disciples that a leader is one who serves rather than one who is served or one who wilds respect and authority.

So, the unworthy servant is not termed as so for being so. But it is a call to serve with utmost humility. Rather to avoid self aggrandizement (Matt 6:1-4, 6:5-6). For none is a servant of God by what they believe they can do. Rather it is not about what the servant has done/can do or can't do. So then, endeavor to avoid conceit (1Tim 6:3-4), (Rom 26:12), (Proverbs 26:12). This calls for a flourishing relationship with God rather than with men. For you have not done enough having served in one way after the other (Luke 17:7-9).

But in this also, we ought to learn that a servant ought to listen carefully to and follow the instructions of the master. Say for example; not to serve the master with coffee when he rather wants food. As that, it is pretty important to understand that you are a servant on terms of the appointing authority and not yours. Rather it is not about the servant but the appointing authority. So then, no matter how humanly unbecoming an instruction may appear to you, your duty is not to choose between what to do and what not to do, or what is and what is not. For all to be or not to be done should entirely be dependent on the appointing authority.

As minister then, you ought to conduct yourself carefully and according to how you have been appointed (Ephesians 4:1). Not to take it for granted that you are a servant of God. For according to the world order, it entirely depends on factors to do with the individual, not so with serving God. For serving God is never about wielding authority, but rather to serve.

June 19 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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