Text: Luke 17:1-10
Luke 14:1 – 17:10 in my reading is one long extended teaching on being a disciple. The text for this sermon is the summary or conclusion of that section. I drew that boundary because in Luke 17:11 Jesus is no longer ping-ponging back and forth between disciples and Pharisees, but he is back on the road to Jerusalem. The entire Jerusalem road narrative is about discipleship, but this inner part has been more intense. It has been much more about how the disciple acts while Jesus is not present here and now.
The focus on being a disciple gives the section a heavy law feeling and it does end with millstones and the blunt saying about being an unworthy servant. But it is right there where the gospel enters. Of course that is how we would act. If we had a field slave and he came in we’d tell him to go clean up and make dinner. But that is not how God acts. In Christ – God serves the dinner and washes the feet. The unworthy slave is told to sit, eat, drink, rest…while the worthy son is crucified.
It is just that love for the unworthy slave that should inspire the life of repentance. We no longer have to look pious. We are not part of a religious club where membership depends upon our status or appearance. We have been seated at the table. We repent not because it atones for sin or gives us any merit. We repent because we desire to be closer to the heart and mission of the God who loved us first. We repent as a plea – Lord come quickly and finish what you started.