Trust & Obey

Another time, Jesus taught his students about temptation & forgiveness (146):

“Things that tempt people to sin are bound to happen; they cannot be avoided.  But God will bring terrible judgment upon the person responsible for the temptation.

“Anyone who tempts a child or a new believer to sin should be drowned in the deepest part of the sea, because that would be better than facing God’s punishment.  So consider carefully how your example may be influencing other people.

“Now, what about when your brother sins against you?  In that case, you may rebuke him.  But if he repents — intending not to sin against you in that way again — you must forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven different ways in just one day, you must forgive him every time he comes to you & says, ‘I repent.'”

The chosen witnesses, realizing that great faith in God was necessary to do what Jesus taught, appealed to Jesus, “Make our faith greater.”

trust & obey

So Jesus taught them that faithful obedience is the key to building faith. “Faith is powerful because God is powerful.  Faith as small as a mustard seed could command this mulberry tree to pull itself up by the roots & plant itself in the sea, and the tree would obey.

“In your case, suppose you are master of a servant who is plowing your field or looking after your sheep. When he comes in from the field, you don’t tell him to sit right down & eat his meal. Instead, you say to him, ‘Get my supper ready & wait on me while I eat; after that you may have your meal.’  Naturally, your servant would do his duty; he would obey you.  And he really wouldn’t deserve any special thanks for obeying.

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“It is the same with your service for God.  Even when you have done all that God has ordered you to do, all you can say is: ‘We are simply his servants; we have only done our duty.'”

 

(146) Luke 17:1-10