Monday, July 25, 2016

Luke 17:7-10

Luke 17:7-10
“And who out of you all, having a slave plowing or feeding the animals, after coming out of the field, will say to him, ‘Immediately come recline at the table after coming in?’  Rather, will he not say to him, ‘Make dinner ready, and after dressing yourself serve me until I should eat and drink.  And after this you will eat and drink?’  Does he have grace for the slave because he did the things that he was being commanded to do?  In this manner also yourselves, whenever you should do all that was being commanded to you, say that ‘We are useless slaves.  We have done that which we ought to do.’”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus uses a story to drive home his point.  If you are paying someone to do a job for you, do you invite them to spent their time in luxury with you instead of work?  Of course not!  If I hire a contractor to work on my house, I don’t want him sitting down with me for coffee while I’m paying him!  If I hire a teenager to mow my lawn over the summer, I don’t want to pay him for sitting in the shade getting nothing done!  When we have people in our employ, we expect a reasonable outcome of work in exchange.

Do you agree with this principle?  Do you think it is reasonable to expect a fair amount of work in exchange for a fair amount of pay?

Second Thought:

Next, Jesus brings in the concept of grace.  When we do what we are told, do we deserve grace?  My wife and I share a common idea with this respect when it comes to teaching.  We have students all the time come in and say, “We did our homework last night, you should be proud!”  No.  A student who does their homework is just doing what is expected of them.  If you want me as a teacher to be proud, do your homework with care, showing pride in your work, and be ready to demonstrate mastery over the topic.  Merely accomplishing the task doesn’t qualify for grace!  To put this in terms of business, imagine arriving to your work and declaring to your boss, “I showed up today, aren’t you proud?”  Of course you wouldn’t do that.  Your boss expects you to show up and do your job.  Merely showing up isn’t worthy of extra grace.

Do you ever expect grace for merely doing what is expected?  Why do we always seek grace, even when we truly haven’t done anything but meet expectations?

Third Thought:

What is Jesus getting at here?  We need to have perspective.  We are called to follow Him.  We are called to obey His Law.  We are called to help other people find Him.  Those are the expectations!  That’s the standard.  When I do those things, I am not earning the grace of God’s salvation.  No, salvation is a free gift.  We get grace because He loves us, not because we earn it.  Had God not been gracious first, we would never be able to earn all that we have at His hand.  Our perspective should not be that we are getting our reward for obedience.  Our perspective should be gratitude for receiving more than is truly our due.

Do you ever think about God and assume His grace rather than be grateful for it?  Why do we tend to focus on our actions and our reward rather than see life as God’s grace?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 17:11-19
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