Luke 17:7–10 (NKJV)
7 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’? 8 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’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 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.’ ”Luke 17:7-10
The words of Christ here have a stinging quality, denouncing pride and reminding the Christian of their duty. If another person had said these things, they would not ring true, but rather be offensive, oppressive in nature. But when God the Son says that doing one’s regular duty and nothing more is unprofitable, it is gospel. To say that God is not here to serve us, but we are here to serve Him, is truth! While this is perhaps a corrective and instructive passage–not to the exclusion of statements promising blessings from God in so many other passages in the Bible–it is correct and true and must be heard.
Too many times, especially in today’s culture, it is common to see a consumer mentality regarding church or even salvation. What can God do for me? “Save me, heal me, deliver me, provide for me” is more common in prayers to God than worship, praise, adoration, and submission. In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” With that challenge, he ignited a season of service, especially among younger Americans. In the same fashion, Christians should hear in these verses the clarion call to serve the King and His kingdom. Jesus calls us to sacrificial service and dedication to the cause of the gospel. Let us reach up a little higher with our thinking, our acting, and our living to serve God and make the gospel known. He is coming soon! Let us be ready when He comes.