Luke 17:5-10 – Masters & Servants (The Message)
The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
“Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’”
How many times do we compare ourselves to fellow Christians? How often do we try to attain halo status while forgetting the humility that Jesus asked us to posses? How often have we judged someone who is part of the body of Christ because they don’t do what we do or live the way we live? How many times have you felt that you are not a ‘good-enough’ Christian?
We can make the assumption and ask for more and more and we can forget that there is so much within us that God would like us to see. When the Apostles ask Jesus ‘Give us more faith’ , it’s with the assumption that they deserve it. That because of the work they did, that was their reward; that they deserved more faith even though as Jesus says ‘You don’t need it. There is no more or less in faith’. How wonderful! How wonderful that even in times when we feel so completely empty (or our definition of empty) there is a tiny morsel within us. It takes a lot to forget that poppy seed of faith. That tiny amount can move mountains. It can tell a tree to uproot itself and ‘Go jump in the lake’. What we do with that tiny seed of faith can determine a lot. We cannot see the growing of our faith as some sort of power to lord over people but rather we can be those who refrain from judging and desire to journey and help those who want to grow also. It is because of our fear, insecurity and our presumed place of privilege that we make people feel less than us and that has caused others to turn from faith. In our present culture we, the church, need to make sure that we are not above any one else but rather live a life of humility. God has not lost our family but rather we have. Let us begin a daily practice thanking God for our faith and asking Him what he wants us to see about ourselves, both negative and positive?
As we look further into this passage, it teaches us how to live. It took me quite a few times to fully figure this out in the passage. We can learn so much from the master and the servant in this passage. The whole time reading this I was so concentrated on the Master but forgetting the actions and words of the servant. The master has already given us life, life to the full. He has provided a job, food and shelter for the servant. The servant is under no illusion that he deserves more than he already has. He is happy to have what he has and he knows that he has done a good job. We are already in a place where God blesses us, we just assume that it's not the way we want. We need to start and/or continue to be in a posture of gratitude. I think we can fall into this momentary lapse of do something, get something. We need to constantly remind ourselves that the call to sacrificial living is tough and it requires us to go above and beyond for others; to show the character of Jesus in the world. We have knowingly and willingly given our lives to serve Him. The question I ask all the time is 'Why do I do what I do?' Let us stop demanding God to give us stuff and begin to see the things he has put within us. Let us be the servants of God that, although it can be tough sometimes, will always be up for the opportunity to serve. Serving is an everyday act. Let us remember that serving through the motivation of serving God and working with Him we can say ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’
Let us not serve in the attitude of 'Do something, Get something' but rather just serve and always ask the question ‘Why do I do what I do?’.
Susie Keegan is a creative, a font nerd, a graphic designer and the Church of Ireland Chaplain to Dublin Institute of Technology with 11 years experience in youth work. Use ‘Comic Sans’ in the wrong context and you’ll feel her wrath! Being an author on this blog has really pushed her comfort zone and she is very happy to be part of this community.