The Parable of the Farmer: On Servanthood – Gospel in Life

The Parable of the Farmer: On Servanthood

Tim Keller |  August 21, 1994

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  • Christian Living and Obedience
Luke 17:1-13
RS 49-07

Luke 17:1–10

Being a Christian, according to Jesus, requires us to serve God and be mindful of our actions. Jesus emphasizes the importance of avoiding wrongdoing, forgiving those who apologize, and living as role models for others. Even though many people today don’t like the idea of duty, it’s an essential part of being a Christian. This means meeting our responsibilities, even if we don’t feel like it or if it’s difficult.

1. A servant is someone who has decided in their mind and heart that God owes them nothing

When we talk about being God’s servant, it’s not about being employed by God. It’s about realizing that everything we have is a gift from God. In the Bible, a “servant” is someone who’s paying back a debt. They’re not owned by the person they’re paying, but they do owe them. As Christians, we’re asked to let go of the idea that God owes us a good life. Instead, we should think of ourselves as servants. This gives us freedom from anger and a better understanding of our relationship with God.

2. The servant follows all commands

Being obedient and serving God means following all His commands without question. This is shown when Jesus tells lepers to show themselves to priests. We’re encouraged to truly surrender our will to God. This can be hard in a world that emphasizes personal happiness and doesn’t understand the idea of serving. Much of the unhappiness in our society comes from the belief that the only things worth knowing are things we can see and touch. Changing our focus to appreciate the blessings in life and fulfill our duties can help with this.

3. How do you find the strength to do this?

The story of the lepers shows us how important it is to obey and serve God. One leper thanks God, showing us that being a Christian servant is not about obligation, it’s about love. This love comes from the cleansing that we’ve received. The Lord’s Table reminds us of this cleansing, and encourages us to be thankful, humble, and strive to be better servants.



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