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.”
One lesson that Jesus repeatedly had to teach his disciples was about service. They seemed very competitive, each wanting to be the greatest. Or, at the very least, not be thought of as the least. But that was contrary to what Jesus consistently taught them.
In the kingdom of God, it is the one who is least in the eyes of the world and serves others who is greatest (Mark 9:33-35). And Jesus’ teaching in Luke 17:7-10 is in line with this. As a servant, I should not expect thanks when I have done what was expected of me.
The Privilege of Serving
And that can be a challenge. My human nature wants to be recognized for what I do. I want to be appreciated. And it is easy to become discouraged when I am not. And I doubt I am alone in that struggle.
But our service to God, and each other, should not depend on any recognition we might receive. Instead, we should be faithful to the task that our Lord has assigned to us. Recognizing our unworthiness of all that God has done for us. And grateful that he has privileged us to serve him, unworthy as we are.
This is not an argument against showing appreciation for those whose faithful service has blessed you. We should encourage each other in that way. But we should be careful not to make our service dependent on that recognition. Always remember who it is that you serve. And the reward that comes from faithful service (Matt. 25:21).