“Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat?’ But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink?’ He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” -Luke 17:7-10Is there a difference between the relationship between mutual friends and the relationship between a slave and their master? Go one step further! Is there a difference between the closest of friends, between spouses, and that which exists between a slave and their master? There should be!
I was reminded, once again, while reading through the gospel of Luke, of this distinction. I believe it would be well for many to keep this distinction in mind as they go about what they feel is their religious duty.
You see, a slave behaves out of fear of the master’s punishment or in hopes that a job well done will be rewarded. This is where many are today in their relationship with the Great Lover of this universe. They are working hard in hopes to either escape hell or earn a rich reward. Regardless, both are lethal to the relationship for which God created them. Additionally, it lacks logic.
First, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.” (Romans 4:4) Under this mentality, whatever you get is simply what was owed to you. But it goes a step further. Notice the implication this makes of the Master! The Master only rewards the servant because he desires certain behavior. He really doesn’t care about the servant outside of what that servant can do for him. In this paradigm, the Master is truly more egocentric than the slave! And if God is the Master, then these words begin to sting. Under this line of reasoning, our “reward” would be to “feed the Master,” so to speak, once we get there. Once we do “all that’s been commanded” we are not to expect any reward, but rather just to still be unworthy slaves having done what we should have! Is this really the type of relationship you want with the God of this universe?
Me neither! I’m thankful that God is interested in more, as well. Take note of the following passages.
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends.” —John 15:15
“At that time”—this is GOD’S Message still—”you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’ Never again will you address me,‘ My slave-master!’” —Hosea 2:16
” Whoever seeks to keep his life [acting as a slave with only self-centered concern] will lose it, and whoever loses his life [the way one spouse does for another, out of love, not hope of reward or fear of loss] will preserve it.” —Luke 17:33
God is interested in much more than simply being your “Lord and Savior.” He wants to be your friend, dear reader. No, He wants to be your Husband! Will you allow Him to change the way you see Him? The way you’ve been relating to Him? He made you for so much more than what you’re presently experiencing. He made you for something much more intimate between Himself and you. Will you let Him take you within the veil?
I wish you God’s best this week.