Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 14th November 2023: Doing our duty

Duty Love Crucifixion Jesus Luke 17

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 17

Cross and Jesus

Jesus said, ‘Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from ploughing or tending sheep in the field, “Come here at once and take your place at the table”? Would you not rather say to him, “Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink”? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, “We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!”’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


My husband and I served in the Royal Air Force. It was a good life, but we often didn't know what the next day would bring. I remember being in a small plane flying off to Jersey, though I have no idea why and what we were doing there, sufficient to say that my boss, the man with the "scrambled egg on his hat" (Air Officer Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command) had commanded it and I obeyed! When he gave me a chicken for a Christmas present I thanked him, and when he presented me with a signed photo of himself when he left, I thanked him again!!! And when I had worked for eight hours but he arrived in the office at 4pm after visiting RAF stations all day to start his office work, I got on with it and ate my dinner at 9pm! It was my duty.

Jesus uses parables to make a comparison and to show up one aspect of what he is trying to say. The parable of the servants describes life at the time, and no-one would have thought the story odd. But Jesus is highlighting the fact that when we live as a disciple we are merely doing our duty, it is nothing special but is how we should always act. In comparison what Jesus did for us was not out of duty, but out of love. He didn't need to come and rescue us at all. He didn't need to suffer and die for us.

This is why we should respond to our Lord as disciples. Whatever our age or infirmity our duty to Him calls us to continue with that to our last breath. Even at our weakest there is work to do (perhaps in prayer), it's just that the kind of word changes!


Lord Jesus Christ,
when we remember all that You did for us,
may we never forget what we owe You.
May our duty as disciples be the
natural response of our gratitude,
for rescuing us from sin and darkness.
Help us to find new ways of working
for the Kingdom
as our life and circumstances change,
until You finally call us home.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play and/or sing this well known hymn by Isaac Watts. Look particularly at the words of the last verse, which underlines today's Thoughts:

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