We hear a lot about 'our rights' but not too much
regarding our responsibilities. We have the decisions of The European
Court of Human Rights but is there a similar Court dealing with Human
In Luke Chapter 17, after warning us about
causing people to stumble and sin, Jesus then goes on to speak about
forgiveness - about forgiving people - "when those around us ask for
forgiveness, forgive them."
Then Jesus speaks about 'faith'.
Don't ask for more faith - use the faith you have - let it grow and
develop and mature and become strong. Faith is like a muscle - the more
it is used the stronger it becomes.
Now, Jesus says - Suppose one
of you had a servant, and the servant has been ploughing or looking
after the sheep, when the servant comes in, will you say to your
servant - 'Now, you just sit down and eat'?
Much of our Christian
work is either ploughing or shepherding. We are either breaking up
ground in which the seed of The Word of God is being sown and planted,
or we are dealing with the problems of the sheep.
servant comes in, he has more work to do. He now has to prepare the
master's meal, and later on, when his duties are finished and
completed, he can sit down himself and eat.
Does the master offer
a special vote of thanks to the servant just because he did what he was
commanded to do? NO. Then Jesus adds - so you also - when you have done
everything you were told to do - just say - "We are unworthy servants -
we have only done our duty."
Jesus is challenging us in these
words - these are searching words - which can shake us in so many ways.
What is Jesus saying to us? Jesus is teaching disciples of all ages not
to look for thanks and praise for simply doing their duty.
we do things in Jesus Name, yes, it can be encouraging to receive a
word of thanks, but we are NOT to look for it. And, we are not to
become disappointed or depressed when the thanks does NOT come. But, it
is good to express thanks. Thank people for what they do - what they
say - how they minister.
When you have finished your first task,
there is another waiting for you. Jesus Christ is preparing these men
for service - for work and ministry in the Kingdom - and there was
going to be lots of it - and there is still is.
Jesus is teaching
us here - that we have no rights! We hear people speak about their
rights. None of us here has rights, except to serve with devotion and
duty and faithfulness, because we love our Saviour and Lord, Jesus
We never hear Jesus speaking about His rights. He laid all that aside. He laid aside position - glory - everything.
are not doing God a favour when we serve in some way in The Church of
Jesus Christ. When we are given the opportunity to serve God, we should
be grateful - "Thank You Father that YOU have called us to serve YOU
and to do this work. Thank You Jesus that we can minister in this way.
We praise YOU for this."
Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness
Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in
Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching,
speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits
to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda
and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor
areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he
continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical