Summary: A teaching message on Luke 17:7-17.

Luke Series #75 August 11, 2002

Title: 5 Things We Need to Know Concerning Our Relationship with God



Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. This morning we are in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke in our verse-by-verse teaching series out of that book.

Read Luke 17:7-17

Opening Prayer

Many years ago I was a low-level employee at Winn-Dixie supermarket. I had been working there for a couple years and during those my years attitude and actions and changed dramatically. I started off very humble and submissive doing whatever I was told without question, but after a couple years I forgot my standing in the company and began to argue with the managers, do my own thing, and so forth. At that point the managers called me into the office for a private conversation and for a well-needed attitude adjustment. They reminded me of my position and of their position. They reminded me that they were in charge and that they signed the paycheck. The reminded me of where I stood, what my responsibilities were, and what my attitude should be. In essence they reminded me of what was expected in an employer/employee relationship.

Sometimes the same thing needs to be done for Christians. Sometimes our attitude does need adjusting. Sometimes we forget what our responsibilities are and what our attitude should be in our relationship with God. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what is expected of us in our relationship with God. In a sense that is what Jesus does for his disciples in this passage. Jesus knows of the tendency we all have to develop a wrong attitude about ourselves in regard to our relationship with God, so he uses an illustration and a miracle to teach us how we should view ourselves, our relationship and responsibilities with God. He used a slave and a leper as examples of our relationship with God. Neither comparison is particularly flattering, but they are very enlightening. What do we learn about our relationship, attitude and obligations with God in these two passages? There are five things in particular.

1. Our relationship with God is comparable to that of a slave.

In verses 7-10 where the word "servant" occurs, the original Greek text has the Greek word for a slave. A slave was quite different from an employee or hired helpers. A slave was the property of the master 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A slave had no rights of their own and had many obligations expected of them for their master. The slave did not receive a paycheck nor did he expect too. Sometimes a particularly kind master would bless the slave with a gift, but this wasn’t something the master was obligated to do or the slave had a right to expect. All these things about slaves were well known to the disciples, so Jesus uses this analogy to teach them and us about our relationship with God.

1. Our relationship with God is comparable to that of a slave.

It is very clear that Jesus is comparing the disciples to slaves in the entire passage. This point is especially clear in verse 10 where Jesus specifically says that Christians should view themselves as "unworthy slaves" who have only done their duty. In John 15:15 Jesus did say, "I no longer call you servants but friends. . ." but this in no way changes or contradicts this text because Jesus’ point in the Gospel of John was that he revealed his purposes and will to his disciples unlike a master would normally do with a slave. Jesus point in this text is that our obligations and attitudes to God are similar to that of a slave to their master.

1. Our relationship with God is comparable to that of a slave.

Now let’s look at the second thing we need to know concerning our relationship with God.

2. Christians should always make a priority of doing God’s will.

Read Luke 17:7-8

A slave in those days worked very hard from early morning to evening. As verse 7 says, he had to plow the fields, look after the sheep, and perform other laborious task associated with agricultural and farm work. After spending his entire day in the hot sun, he would be hungry and tired. Nevertheless no master would say to his servant at the end of the day, "Come along now, sit down and eat." No master would say, "You have worked hard all day, my dinner can wait." No, the master’s will and desires had priority over the servant’s will and desires. As verse 8 tells us, the master would rather say, "Prepare my supper, get yourself ready, and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink."

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