A Plate Full of Humility

Luke 17:1-10
7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ ”

Over the period of a person’s life every man holds many jobs, some they like, some they don’t. I have had my share of odd jobs- car wash, library circulation assistant, janitor, but there is one job that hope I never have to do again… waiter. Waiters are unsung heroes in our culture. Why, because they deal with the unrealistic expectations of people on a regular basis. While waiting tables myself, I held a degree in biblical languages and was waiting to go to seminary and study for my masters. In that summer waiting tables, I had people call me stupid and berate me to the point of humiliation. I hated being a waiter.

A few weeks back I returned to eat at the restaurant that I waited tables at. We were sat in the section with the newest waiters. Our sweet waiter was still wet behind the ears, and many mistakes were made. When our food came without silverware I had flashbacks of a table refusing me a tip because of that very mistake. All of a sudden I realized our waitress was having a day like many of my days. Instead of chastising her, I saw an opportunity to encourage her. I shared with her the struggles I had waiting tables and spark came into her somewhat defeated eyes.

Why are people so mean? Why do some come to a table place a reasonable tip on the table in ones and remove dollar after dollar for mistakes made. Why do some people come and treat their fellow man with contempt that they would never accept themselves. I think we as humans have misunderstood our place. In America we live in a country where any man can become anything. We used to believe that no man was owed anything, but had to earn everything. Our current culture is different, many of us now believe that we are owed something and that affects the way we treat our common man.

Toward the end of Jesus’s ministry on this earth, the disciples began to understand there was something special about Him. The people of Israel had been expecting a messiah for 400 years, and when Jesus came every promise that scripture made, Jesus lived up to. Seeing this, the disciple thought Jesus was about to lead a rebellion where he would over throw the great Roman Empire and became king over Israel. At this thought the disciples began to plan their places in the kingdom. The disciple had moved from thinking they were the servants of Israel to the royalty of Israel.

The temptation of man has always been one singular temptation, to make himself something he is not. Adam and eve wanted to be like God. The disciples sought power not true peace, and we take on a mind of entitlement, not a heart of hospitality. In Luke 17, Jesus teaches the disciple a very clear lesson, that we do not exists in this world for royal treatment, but instead to faithfully and humbly serve our master.

We often have the temptation to take God’s grace, His undeserved merit, and think that we are something special because we are saved. We begin to think we are entitled to it, and in the end fall in to the trap of the disciples… thinking that God exists for us. A true understanding of grace leads us to understand that are worthless fallen people who outside of God’s mercy are destined for hell. We understand God would be completely right in our condemnation. We understand that we are dead men walking. In the humility and brokenness of the heart, we then see how great God’s grace is and we worship and give him every bit of adoration. We live because He died. I don’t deserve God’s salvation, but he gives it anyways. Understanding all we have is by grace let us serve in humility not demand out of entitlement.

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