“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:13
“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.” John 15:15
I have enjoyed Downton Abbey because it gives us a full picture of life in England in the early 1900’s. Especially, interesting is the life of the servants in relationship to the Lords and Ladies. There is a living out of the Scripture, “We have done what was our duty to do.”
This has been a life long struggle for me in my relationships with my master. There is enough Scripture that speaks of our duties as a servant to the master. Only his agenda is important. My job is obedience to whatever it is that He tells me. Blackaby says in his devotional: “God does not need you to dream great dreams for your life, your family, your business, or your church. He simply asks for your obedience.” (p.135, Experiencing God Day-By-Day)
Set against this is the idea that we are the children of God. A son and a daughter certainly reacts different to the Father than a servant does. We get up in his lap, and even crawl into his bed and snuggle with him. When the servant makes a mistake, he worries about losing his job. When a daughter makes a mistake, she gets corrected, but there is no way she will lose her position in the family. It is a bond that is sealed in blood.
I have settled this issue for myself. Jesus died on the cross to move me from servant to son. I do not have to repeat the Atonement by acts of performance in order to earn this spot. It’s already mine because of the bond that is sealed in blood. I can enjoy the relationship knowing that I am loved. I will be obedient out of love for Abba, but it is a love response not a requirement of entry.
The elder brother missed that in Luke 15. He lived like he was a servant, not the son. His Father’s words ring true to anyone who is following Jesus: “Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours.”