Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Luke, chapter 17

Chapter 17 of Luke offers us a picture of forgiveness. The main point of this chapter relates to sin, faith and our duty to God through each. There are days where it feels like our Christian walk needs a lot of faith, but in reality only a small amount is needed. Jesus asks us in this passage to view our faith as a seed. When you plant a seed it grows into something larger. Instead of asking for more faith it may be better for us to ask God to work with the little faith we are given.

Forgiveness is another aspect of Jesus’ message here. Much tot eh dismay of the Pharisees, Jesus taught that there was nothing beyond His ability to forgive. He leaves us with this message in verses three and four.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." – Luke 17:3-4

These standards are not overly high because they are the same standards Jesus Himself has for us. He merely asks us to follow these same standards. The disciples here did not believe they could live up to those standards, thus the lesson on growing what little faith we have.

This chapter ends with a message about the coming kingdom of God. I admit there are days that I long for this kingdom because I cannot tolerate the ways of this world. Lately I have been thinking about how I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere. In that case, I certainly don’t long for this place. The primary message here is that we must always be ready for the coming of the kingdom. As children of this kingdom, naturally we are not going to fit in or be comfortable in this place of loss and sin. It is through God’s grace and mercy that we are freed.

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