A Slave of Christ

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’ ”

Luke 17:10

Luke 17:7-10 is not one of those “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” passages, as if there really were some of these in the Gospels. It is actually more representative of Jesus Mean and Wild, to borrow the title of Mark Galli’s incisive book. How should we respond to Jesus who tells his followers, “[W]hen you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy slaves who have simply done our duty’ ”? (In yesterday’s reflection, I explained that the original language of 17:10 uses the Greek word that is most accurately translated as “slaves,” not servants.)

My first reaction to Jesus is to resist. I don’t want to be a slave, much less an unworthy slave. I want to be a somebody, a leader, an achiever. I want to be in charge, to be needed and valued. I don’t want to say “I simply did what Jesus told me to do. I simply obeyed my Master.” Yet, in a sense, this is precisely true, or at least it should be. When I serve the Lord, when I obey him, I am not the one in charge. I am subordinate. I am, in fact, owned by my Lord who gave his life for me.

True discipleship isn’t a matter of self-exaltation. It’s not trying to be the best disciple. It’s certainly not striving to share in Jesus’ glory and power. True discipleship involves giving up myself to follow Jesus. It means taking up my cross, surrendering my life to my Lord and living fully for his glory.

But, as I offer myself as a slave of Christ, he lifts me up to share in his glory, not because I deserve it, but as a gift. As it says in 1 Peter 5:6, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” Notice, I am not seeking my own honor. I am not lifting up myself. God is doing this as I humble myself before him. My role is the humbling part, the submission, the life of service. The rest is up to God.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you respond to the idea of being a slave of Christ? What helps you to humble yourself before the Lord in service to him? What in you resists this kind of humility and servanthood? How might you live differently if you saw yourself as a slave of Jesus?


All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

“I Surrender All” by Judson W. Van Deventer, 1896. Public domain.