We had an interesting discussion at Bible Study this week on the slave parables and sayings of Jesus. The harsh judgement that is rendered this Sunday:
Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’ (Luke 17:9-10)
contrasts with the scene a few weeks ago, when the master comes home in the middle of the night and finds his slaves waiting up for him:
Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. (Luke 12:37-38)
This Jesus is not an easy man to understand, always, or to follow.
dare we ask for your blessing, worthless slaves that we are?
And yet for our sake you suffer; life and death are within your gift, and you shun neither.
And so, trembling with our faith, we beg your blessing still, be it even as little as a mustard seed…