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Bible verses about Unprofitable Servants
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Luke 17:5-10  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Verse 10 contains the key to increased faith: the word "say." The principle boils down to working with a specific attitude. Christ tells us to do everything possible to be as profitable as this servant (verses 7-8), without expecting any recognition for it (verse 9). Then we can present the sincere, humble attitude: "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do."

Humanly, the servant could have taken the attitude, "You owe me! Didn't I go 'above and beyond'?" No! "Above and beyond" is not applicable to our relationship with God. We could never do enough to put God in our debt.

I Corinthians 4:7 asks, "What do you have that you did not receive?" We have no room to boast that we have done anything without God's oversight (Daniel 4:28-35). I Corinthians 6:20 tells us we owe God everything, as He has redeemed us by the most precious blood of His own Son. Paul commands us not to grow weary but do good to all (Galatians 6:9-10). James echoes him: "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). God has backed us into a corner. Where do we have any room for "above and beyond"?

In both the planning and action stages of works of goodness or faith, we decide how much to give, how far to go. But in hindsight, what good thing have we ever done that qualifies for "above and beyond" our duty to God? Whatever it was, the Scriptures plainly show we were commanded to do it! It was our duty because we found it in our power to do it (Proverbs 3:27). We cannot take the attitude that, "We did these good things, so that makes us profitable to God." If we do, we have no basis for faith. Our faith would be in ourselves, not in God.

Staff
Beware of Faith Blockers!


 

Luke 17:7  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

As servants or bondservants, we are not our own. We belong to Christ who bought us with His blood. We have no right of ownership of anything because God owns us and all we have—even our time. This means we are at His disposal. He demands our total effort at all times, and has every right to expect it as He has given all, owns all, and has a right to all. We are His by creation, by redemption, and by our surrender of our lives to Him.

The images of plowing fields and tending sheep in verse 7 represent spiritual labor, to which Christ called His own followers (John 21:16; Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2-3). A master is not required to refresh or compensate his servant immediately, even when he has plowed his master's fields or fed his sheep. The servant has merely done his duty. Before the servant can sit down and rest, he must prepare and serve his master's meal. Though tired, he is still under obligation to serve.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Unprofitable Servants


 

Luke 17:10  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The lowly attitude of the servant is seen clearly in the word translated "servant" in verse 7. It is the Greek word doulos meaning "bondservant." During Christ's time, such a servant-slave was under the complete authority of his master. We must take this lowly position if we are going to serve our Master well. Our service will always fall short of the suffering and sacrifice Jesus received while in the flesh on earth. Therefore, there is no such thing as an excess of earned credit in us; even after serving our best at what the Master requires, we are still unprofitable servants in comparison to Christ. After performing our duty perfectly, we are still short of earned credit before God. We cannot build anything on our own effort. If we expect thanks and reward for fulfilling the minimum requirement of work, our thoughts are not on the duty but on what we may gain.

Christ expects every church member to do his duty in a mind and will unified with His. His emphasis on humility is a hard lesson for those who will not serve unless given recognition, honor, and position. In reality, much of the service we perform for Him is humbling and obscure by the world's standard. Christian works must be done in faith (James 2:20). The only way to obtain increased faith is for the working servant to manifest steadfast, persevering obedience, grounded in humility with the help of the Holy Spirit. Faith is produced as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). A humble, obedient, serving attitude goes a long way to increasing faith and practicing true forgiveness.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Unprofitable Servants


 

 




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