Today we are looking at Luke, chapter 17. It covers a lot of ground in this chapter.
Jesus speaks of Offence, Forgiveness, humility, Thankfulness, and the coming of the kingdom of God.
Firstly, He says that offenses will come. They are inevitable because of our sinful, selfish nature. We want to be right, we want to have more, and we want to be more important and in doing that we offend others, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly.
In offense, there is a WoE here. If we cause someone to stumble or fail in their faith because of our offense then we would perish under a terrible load of guilt and responsibility.
While causing offense is a terrible responsibility, Forgiving offense is a great responsibility as well. Not only is the word saying to forgive but to be on our guard about how we react when we are offended so that we don’t offend in our response.
Be on your guard. In Matthew 18:15 it says “if a brother sins, go to him in private and show him his fault. If he listens to you, (and I love this part) You have Won your brother.”
We are to forgive. (again and again)
After the apostles had heard these teachings they were overwhelmed by how they were supposed to accomplish this so they said to Jesus,
Increase our Faith!!!! They were asking for help. They felt incapable of measuring up to Jesus' instructions. They needed the grace of God to grow in their faith, in forgiveness, and in their walk with Him.
Christ was teaching them a new way of living and they knew they could only do it with more faith.
So Jesus gave them the example of a little bitty mustard seed. Basically, he was saying that you don’t have to dress a certain way, memorized the whole Bible, never miss a Sunday, and pray 19 times a day-He was asking them to truly just believe this much and you can say to a tree-be uprooted from the land and go be planted in the ocean and it would obey you so that God would have the glory.
Just as Jesus talked to his followers about offense, forgiveness, and faith, he also spoke about humbleness, service, and thankfulness in God’s kingdom.
He used the example of a servant to show that we serve God because he bought us with his sacrifice. We serve him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength: Not for thanks or recognition but because of who he is and what He has done for us.
He also illustrated thankfulness for our Lord’s love and power with the story of the 10 lepers. They asked for mercy and Jesus gave it and they were healed but only 1 came back and worshipped him and said thank you. He looked and asked where are the other 9. We must be careful
To not just use God only when we need help, take his mercy and provision, and then go on our way. We need to always be thankful to Him for his mercy on us.
Jesus knew that his way would be more difficult because instead of just following hundreds of rules and laws, they now had to follow what Jesus had taught and rely on His Spirit to guide them. It is much like us teaching our kids from the time that they are little not to run into the street because of the danger and when they grow up we expect that they will not go into the street in front of a car because they have matured and understand. Lord, help us to grow in you and keep from the offense, offer forgiveness, and be humble and thankful.