Luke 17:7, 8

Robert Hawker

"But which of you having a servant plowing, or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?"–Luke xvii. 7, 8.

I have often thought that the Lord Jesus, the bountiful Lord of all his servants, and who giveth largely to the supply of all his household, hath a more special and suited food for his servants in the ministry, who are employed by him to set forth his table for others. They are, as the servant here described, in the field, plowing, and engaged in every branch of the spiritual husbandry. But when they return, their peculiar privilege is to wait upon their Master. And well is it for them; for in the faithful discharge of their labours, so great and constant are their engagements in following up the several departments of it, that, while keeping the vineyard, the church, their own interests would be sadly neglected and forgotten. Yet it is a most certain truth, that no servant in a family can be faithful to his Lord's interest, who is not faithful to himself. No minister of the Lord Jesus can be concerned for other men's souls, who hath no concern for his own. How very blessed is it then, that the Lord Jesus hath made suitable provision in this particular, that when the public service of the day is over, he opens to the private enjoyment of his people in himself alone. My soul, hath not Jesus, in this delightful scripture, taught thee this sweet lesson? Public ordinances will be doubly blessed, when, in the after-retirement, we wait upon Jesus in private. And in the most busy life, there will be always some moment found to do this. Jesus himself, "when he had sent the multitudes away, went up into the mountain, apart, to pray." The night opened to him the pleasures of communion, when the public services had engaged him all the day. And will not thou, dear Lord, while thy servant is waiting upon thee at thy table, bless him with some glimpse of thy glory? Shall he not find himself, refreshed in hearing the gracious words which drop from thy sacred lips? Will he not indeed esteem "thy words more than his necessary food?" Yea, Lord, thou wilt thyself be both his meat and his drink; and to wait on thee at thy table will be found more blessed than all the unsanctified tables of those who fare sumptuously every day!