Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20091230.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LVIII: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Expectations He Has Of His Servants
Lesson: Christ demanded of His servants the highest degree of fairness and honesty to others and full humility toward God, revealing that He is an infinitely righteousness God's true Savior of the world.
- If Jesus Christ truly is a perfectly holy, righteous God's Son and Savior of the world, the expectations He would have of His servants in terms of righteous thinking and living should be great.
- This is precisely what Luke 17:1-10 reveals, and we view that passage for affirmation that Jesus is truly God's Son and our Savior, and to make fitting applications of Christ's expectations of us as His servants:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Expectations He Has Of His Servants, Luke 17:1-10.
- The Luke 17:1-10 conversation occurred immediately after the parable Jesus gave in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man who went to hell and the beggar, Lazarus, who went to heaven when they died (cf. Luke 1:3).
- In such a solemn context, and in view of the great need for people to heed God's truth as doing so has eternal repercussions according to Luke 17:27-31, Jesus gave the Luke 17:1-4 address to His disciples.
- Thus, He solemnly told His men that though offenses would come where people would be mislead into sin (Luke 17:1a), those who provided such misguidance would be seriously judged by God, Luke 17:1b!
- Indeed, it would be better for such leaders and teachers to have a millstone hung around their neck and to be cast into the sea to drown than to mislead weaker people into such sinful error, Luke 17:2.
- Accordingly, Christ told His disciples to be abundantly honest and fair in relating to others in the ministry:
- If a brother trespassed against him, Christ's servant was to be honest and rebuke him, but if the brother then repented, the disciple was to forgive him in view of everyone's accountability to God, Luke 17:3.
- Even if a brother sins against Christ's disciple seven times a day, if the brother truly repents each time, God's servant was obliged to forgive him, to realize the incredibly important effects that decisions made in this life relative to sin and righteousness have in one's eternal accountability to God, Lk. 17:4.
- Responding to this strict admonition, the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, Luke 17:5. His reply shows how abundantly God wishes to shower His grace upon His servants, but equally how humble they were to be in response to that abundance of divine blessing, Luke 17:6, 7-10:
- To the request for their faith to be expanded, Jesus replied, telling His disciples that it was not their amount of faith that was needed to be productive, but the fact that it was a true faith in an abundantly powerful, gracious God, Luke 17:6: Jesus revealed that having a tiny amount of true faith, that of a mustard seed, is all a believer needs to move a sycamine tree noted for its strong roots to be uprooted and transplanted into the sea! (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Luke 17:6)
- However, Jesus also revealed that such a productive life of faith in God was never to be viewed by the believer in a self-glorifying way, but as an experience of God's great grace unto them, Luke 17:7-10:
- To illustrate how Christ's disciples were to think of the rewarding life of faith they would experience under Him, Jesus gave an illustration of a servant who works for his master all day outdoors who still cannot expect his master to have him to sit and eat with him after that work is done, Luke 17:7.
- Indeed, a servant is always a servant, so the master still calls his servant to serve him at his table after the slave has even done all these outside chores, Lk. 17:8a. Only after having met the needs of his master indoors is the servant free to eat and drink at the end of his long day of work, Luke 17:8b.
- Besides, the master does not even think of thanking his servant for doing all of his outdoor and later indoor work, for all such duties are what is expected of the master's servant, Luke 17:9.
- In the same way, when God responds to Christ's disciples by answering their requests given in faith, they should never conclude God owes them such a response of blessing! They are always to view themselves as unworthy servants of God who are only doing their duty before the Lord, Luke 17:10.
Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is a perfectly righteous God's Savior. (2) May we serve God with complete fairness and truth toward others, and rejoice in God's rich blessings in a life of faith, but always temper such joy with humility, for we as His servants never deserve any of God's blessings!