Servants and Friends

I really appreciated Pastor Neil’s sermon on Matthew 25:14-30. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out here. It was both an encouraging and helpful reminder and a solid kick in the pants to spur us on to love and good deeds.

This passage of Scripture can feel to me a bit like a treasure of gold hidden amidst some landmines. I have just enough of a Type A personality that I can read a passage like this and get a little tripped up. Like the horse named Boxer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, my default message to myself is often, “I will work harder.” I want to get that 100% ROI to please my master and avoid the whole being-cast-into-outer-darkness-with-the-weeping-and-gnashing-of-teeth thing, so tell me what I need to do and let me get to it. So as I was reflecting on this passage, I found it helpful to pull another Scripture to mind.

In John 15 Jesus gives a final exhortation to his disciples to be fruitful in their labors but with a very different tone. To zero in on a few verses: Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

On the one hand we are definitely servants. The writers of the New Testament-- Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John-- all introduce themselves as servants in their letters. We have nothing of our own making and are completely dependent on the gracious benevolence of one who is far greater than us. But we are also more than that. We are also friends of the King and co-laborers with him. We are not tasked with using our skills to burdensomely try to eke out gains to avoid punishment but are invited to partner alongside him, with joy and love, on his works of creation and redemption. We can be confident that He will not leave us alone but will be at work in and through us and will supply us with all that we ask and need to finish the work that He has called us to. Carry on, friends.

by Steve Lamp
Steve and his wife Melissa began attending Kingsway in 2014. Not normally prone to public displays of emotion, he wept during the first worship service and knew he had found home. As an avid reader, Steve believes the ideas we allow into our minds are critical to our spiritual formation. He enjoys exploring nature, playing and spending time with his two young sons and over-quoting his favorite authors, C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard.

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