The Gospel of Luke

This devotional was written by Kirstine Robb. Kirstine is Ordinand (trainee vicar) and naughtiest staff member.

Luke 17:1-10

Sin, Faith, Duty

17 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.

"If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,' you must forgive them."

5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

7 "Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8 Won't he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 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.'"

Reflection

Jesus is not mincing his words in this passage. While it might read like a rebuke, he is actually talking to us about humility.

With all that is going on in the world, the closing of schools and lock-down of society it is uncharted territory for most of us, this is when we need to be humble. To put others first, to seek to be like Jesus to those around us but it can feel totally overwhelming.

The disciple's response to Jesus in this moment is to ask for more faith (v5).

In the times we find ourselves, it would be natural to ask Jesus for more faith.

Jesus' has a beautiful answer, 'You just need Faith as small as a mustard seed.'

Tom Wright says like this, 'It is not great faith you need; it is faith in a great God.'

It is normal to feel anxious when facing uncertain times but this is when we fall back on our faith, when we remember that we believe in a God who is greater than what we are going through. As we navigate new rhythms of life for a while, let's be people who are humble, who will serve those around us, to be people of faith because we believe in a great God.

If today you feel like your faith is as small as a mustard seed then know that is enough. We are not meant to do life alone, so in this period of being isolate firstly know that God's spirit is with you, take a moment and ask God to fill you afresh with his Spirit. Then choose connection, call or message someone, we are in this together and we are family even when we are apart.

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