Summary: The Parable of the Master and the Servant is only in Luke's Gospel and is the most neglected parable of Jesus' Ministry. Why?
The Highlight of Humility
Isa 57:15: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity,(God is eternal God) whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Last week we looked at Luke 17:1-2: “He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.
(1. The Seriousness of causing Sinful Stumbling blocks: It would be better that a huge stone be hung around your neck and you be thrown into the sea than for you to be a stumbling stone to young believers. Stand on the Rock of our salvation.)
Verses 3-5: So "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." 5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
(2. The Necessity and Humility of Forgiveness- Pride is the enemy of forgiveness. Through the Gospel of Jesus, you have been forgiven- “divorce”, forgive the sins of offenders as God in Christ forgives you. )
(3. So the Prayer of the Humble is - “Increase our faith.” Make us more like you, Lord Jesus.)
Verse 6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea '; and it would obey you.”
(4. The Miracle of Saving Faith- God is able to accomplish the impossible. When God first planted faith in me, all my sins were forgiven in Christ and taken away forever: the object of our faith, The Lord Jesus Christ, is far more important than the quantity of faith. Gospel Humility is Gospel Power, Gospel forgiveness.)
The Master and the Slave
Today we look at the parable of “The Master and the Slave”. And Jesus continued in Luke 17:7; (Here is question # 1): "Which of you, having a slave (servant, a “doulos”) plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come immediately and sit down to eat'? If you had a “doulos”, a domestic servant or slave and he was out working in your field and tending your livestock, when he came in wreaking of sweat and smelling of barnyard animals, would you tell him to sit down and SERVE HIM? In Mideast culture, the answer would be a resounding “NO WAY”; no master in his right mind would do that!)
Here’s question # 2 in verse 8: "But will he not say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink '? (If you’re the master and he is your domestic slave, if he came in from the field and the barn, wouldn’t you PROBABLY say: Hey, get washed up a little bit because it’s lunch time and I’m hungry: you can rest after you’ve served me!)
Now to Western culture that may sound a little harsh but some wealthy folks still have domestic servants, and I think that they, for the most part, would take the approach in Question #2? Don’t you agree? Certainly, in the ancient Mediterranean world, domestic servants existed because of debt-slavery (they owed money); it was also as a punishment for crimes, and then some were prisoners of war: The life of a “doulos” was not always pleasant, but it could be a lot worse!
The Life of a “DOULOS”
1). I think THAT view was owned by many domestic slaves: “I could have it A LOT WORSE than this.” A “Doulos”(not a dufus) was many times a very DEPENDENT slave. Being a domestic slave meant that he had a roof over his head, maybe his own living quarters; he wasn’t homeless. He had food every day, probably what was left from the food of the family, but nonetheless, he didn’t go hungry and he wasn’t begging or picking garbage. He was being provided for.
2). Being a “doulos” was a DECENT situation in that he was an employee of a person who owned valuable land and a home: There was a high degree of security for a doulos. A person he had never met, a stranger, hires you as his personal servant, takes you into his house, even though you’ve messed up. It's actually a pretty good illustration on some levels of the relationship between a believer and God, between a believer and Christ: We were lost, but were found. We needed life, and God provided. We would have been dead on account of our sins, and we were brought to life and given a second chance, and so it’s a decent picture of our relationship with God in Christ on a spiritual level: HE REDEEMED US! He didn’t have to, but He did. What a God of Grace!