Parable of the Master and Servant Life Lessons

The Parable of the Master and Servant is a good reminder for all of His people of His expectations. Heeding the message in this parable will keep us from falling into the sinful state of self-righteousness.

Parable of the Master and Servant Life Lessons. Servant holding tray

Master and Servant Parable Bible Verses, Luke 17:7-10

The Master and Servant Parable is included in Luke 17:7-10. The NIV translation is included here:

7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Parable of the Master and Servant Summary

The Parable of the Master and Servant summary is that the servant worked in the field all day and still was expected to serve his master at the end of the long day. He wasn’t congratulated or thanked for doing the work because it was his duty.

Master and Servant Parable Meaning

We are God’s servants and must remain humble in our service to Him. When we do as He asks, we are only doing our duty and should not expect a reward.

The Parable of the Master and Servant Lessons

In today’s world, when everyone gets a “participation trophy”, the Parable of the Master and Servant can feel harsh. But let’s walk through the lessons and consider them from God’s perspective and not our own.

1. Obedience is our DUTY

Following Christ means we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, which means we accept God as our Sovereign Creator.

On Earth, we may be the queen bee of the hive or the knight in shining armor who saves the day. No matter how much power or influence we have on Earth, we are mere dots in the scheme of the universe. As compared to the vastness and omnipotence of God, we should never elevate ourselves to be anything more than God’s servants. God is the Creator of the Universe! He created us in His image because of His great love for us.

Obedience to Him is our duty and obligation. The evil one will try to persuade you to elevate your importance in relation to God. Beware.

2. But it’s HARD!

Following Christ is HARD and whether we acknowledge it or not, we all want a pat on the back for our hard work. 

When we’re feeling like we’re sacrificing a lot to follow Christ or we’re trying to survive through a struggle, remember that Jesus told us it would not be easy to follow Him.

This doesn’t change the fact that it’s hard, but it means He understands. When we imagine Jesus hanging on the cross to save us, we can be assured that He understands our pain and suffering.

Following Christ is hard, but it’s worth it.

3. But I’m doing more than the others

Our human tendency is to compare ourselves to others. When we follow Christ and change our ways according to His instructions (commandments), sometimes that opens our eyes to the way others are living according to the world’s standards. We start feeling entitled to more recognition for our efforts.

When we love others who are pretty darn unlovable and who might have hurt us in the past, we want to be rewarded for that. But that’s what Jesus told us we must do – to love one another. That is His basic requirement! But we know other people who are holding grudges and who are judgemental and cruel to others. We tell ourselves we’re better than they are.

God doesn’t judge us according to how well we stack up to other humans. He judges us according to how well we follow Him. This is independent of anything and anyone else.

When we start feeling the self-righteousness that comes from feeling we’re doing more than everyone else, we can remind ourselves that the only comparison God makes is how well we’re listening to Him.

4. I still want a reward

Let’s face it, we’re only human! We want hard work to be rewarded. We don’t want hard work to be considered the bare minimum. 

The Parable of the Master and Servant doesn’t specify the reward in the parable, but God’s reward for our hard work in following Him is the most fabulous gift we will ever receive. That reward is the promise of eternal life with Him.

We may not want to wait 20 or 50 or 80 more years for that reward. It might be hard to keep serving God for all those years for a distant reward, but it is there and waiting for us. And God’s eternal reward is WORTH IT!

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Commentary: Luke 17 7 10 Parable of the Master and Servant

Find The Parable of the Master and Servant Commentaries at Bible Study They include free and paid versions. For this article, I referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

This post may contain affiliate links. This is my full disclosure.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!

Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.

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