Summary: A look at four passages in Luke that help us to puncture the self-centered tendencies that come so naturally in our culture.
WHAT JESUS EXPECTS: He told us to be servants, but it’s hard to know how to move in that direction in such a self-centered culture.
- It is a little difficult for us to understand how to be servants when we’re so used to being the center of attention:
a. Stores cater to us to win our business.
b. Advertisers try to amuse us so we’ll buy their products.
c. Social media allows us customize our experience so we only hear voices that agree with us.
d. Social media allow us a platform where we can speak and have others praise us.
- We’re used to be served more than we’re used to serving.
- Even for their culture, what Jesus is saying was challenging.
- In v. 25 He says that this is not the way they normally saw things working.
- In v. 26 He says things that sound peculiar to our ears. What do we do with them? How do live them out?
- We talked last week about how difficult it can be for us to understand the concept that Jesus is putting out here when He calls us to be servants.
- What I want to do this morning is look at four passages that share some specifics about what a servant heart and a servant attitude looks like.
- These are toe-stomping passages. They challenge us to go beyond what our culture tells us and to try to embrace the call of Jesus. Hopefully they’ll paint a picture that’s clearer.
FOUR TRUTHS TO DEFLATE YOUR SELF-CENTEREDNESS:
1. So much of what you’re proud of was given to you.
- A key part of our self-centeredness is people stuck on how great they are.
- How much time is spent on social media drawing attention to ourselves? “Here’s a picture of me: comment on how pretty I am.” “Here’s what I did today: tell me how terrific I am.” “Here’s what I accomplished: everyone praise how far I’m going.”
- Now, I’m not saying that we should never post a picture or tell what happened in our day or share an accomplishment. There is a place for it in moderation – the sharing of life.
- But it is so easy with social media to have everything be about me: you are the center of the world around which everyone rotates.
- If you don’t believe me, just compare the number of posts where people share something about what they did with posts where people share something about what others did. Are there some of the second category? Yes, but they’ll be dwarfed by the first category.
- The parable of the ten minas has a lot in there that is worthy unpacking, but there are just three words that I want to focus on for this morning.
- Look with me at v. 13, which tells us that the master gave each of his servants a mina, which was a unit of money back then.
- Word #1: Gave.
- The master gave them each a mina. They didn’t go earn it – it was given to them.
- So much of what we have in our lives was given to us by God: our looks, our intelligence, our personality.
- Sure, we have a part in it: we can dress nicely or never take a shower. Still, the original gift is from God.
- Not that you’d ever know that by the way we talk. We act like we earned all that we have. We’re so full of ourselves.
- I’ve used the sermons I preach as an example. Let’s say after a message someone comes up to me and says (this is a stretch, but just go along with me), “That was the best sermon I ever heard.” Now, I could walk away from that thinking, “Wow! I guess I’m awesome. I must be one of the best preachers ever. I’m really something!” Now certainly I have a role to play in the writing of the sermon and hopefully I’m faithful and diligent in doing my part, but if it genuinely was a great sermon I have to remember: God is the one who gave the Bible to pull truth from, God was the one who called me into ministry in the first place, God was the one who gave me the brain to think with, God is the one who convicts hearts and draws people to Himself. Even if that genuinely was the best sermon that person ever heard, my part in it is minor compared to God’s. That’s why the right response to compliment would be something like, “Glory to God that the Spirit spoke to you so clearly.”
- Word #2: Stewardship.
- He entrusted them with something substantial as a stewardship. A stewardship means that it didn’t belong to them. It was given to them to manage but it still belonged to the master.