If you are serving the Lord do you have great expectations as to your reward for the work you do? Because you are serving the Lord, do you believe that you have a greater entitlement than others in the blessings of the Lord? If so you may be in for a shock for in this section of scripture Jesus shows us that expecting any great reward for serving the Lord may be in vain. There is a blessing in doing the Lord’s work but it is not to be made a fuss over.
The Lord’s Servant
Here we see the Lord give an example of a servant coming in from a field to his master and what it is that he could or should expect. Jesus says, “Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’?” (Verse 7)
What he is saying is that would it be normal to expect a master to serve the servant just because the servant has had a hard day of work in the field? No. It is the role of the servant to serve, not to be served. It is the role of the servant to do the will and the bidding of the master, not the other way around.
Jesus shows this in the next verse saying, “Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’?” (Verse 8) It is the master who has the authority in the master/servant relationship and in like manner for those serving the Lord, it is the Lord who is the master, we are all just servants.
Serving the Lord
Jesus continues, “Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?” (Verse 9) When a servant is commanded to do something he is not doing any more than asked of him. Why then should there be any expectation that the servant should receive any thanks, gratitude or otherwise just for doing what he was supposed to do?
When we serve the Lord by doing what he has asked us to do it is no different. When the Lord asks us to do anything in his service it is simply expected that we will do it. We should not and cannot expect to be made a fuss of or to receive accolades for doing our job as expected. And who has done anything that is so great as to expect God to give gratitude?
All that we have, whether knowledge, power, ministry or gifts of the Spirit have been give to us by God. We have not done anything other than to receive His promises and to then use his words and ministry to help others. It is by the grace of God that we live, stand and do everything. We have no power of ourselves to save ourselves and so we should not expect God’s accolades when we do what we are supposed to do.
Instead we must give God the glory and Jesus Christ for it is by the Lord’s sacrifice that we have this opportunity to come to God and be set free from our sins. In the end, as servants we need to be of the mind set in this scripture. Jesus said of the servants, “So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” (Verse 10)
What Can We Expect?
Jesus shows us in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) that the reward for all servants will be equal. Whether you serve through the heat of the day, under great suffering and duress or whether you come to the Lord at the eleventh hour, your reward will be the same. We cannot have any great expectations that any of his servants will or should receive more than any other.
As servants of the Lord we have the same promises as every other Christian. Whether servant or served we are all equal in Christ Jesus. We have all been called to receive the grace of God and have the same promises. The only thing the servant can hope for beyond what anyone else receives is to hear the words of God saying, “Well done god and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Guenter M. Kirchweger)