The Gospel of Luke | Obedience & Faith | Luke 17.5-10|

by | Oct 1, 2021

”The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 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’? 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’? 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.’” Luke 17.5-10

In this segment we have two parables, one about having faith as small as a mustard seed (one which most of us are very familiar), and the other about a slave obeying his master by doing his duties. The correlation between the two is peculiar. According to the NIV Application Commentary, the amount of faith to cause the mulberry tree to move isn’t much but some faith must be present. And in regardless to the slave doing his chores in the field by plowing and by tending sheep – he is only doing his duty. The slaves role is to obey the master. So after working in the field, obedience and obligation requires him to prepare the meal of the master (another act of service until the day is complete.)

In order for us to do the work of Jesus we must have faith (albeit small) and obedience. We do not put demands upon the Master, but we serve him dutifully, not because we are his slaves, but servants. Jesus doesn’t demean us by forcing us to labor in the fields reaping the harvest for the Kingdom, he partners with us yet we remain his servants because He is God. He is the Master. And in order to do the work he called us to do, faith is required. How much faith? Just the size of a tiny little mustard seed (and it is indeed small) is needed to accomplish the work. Faith in Christ also empowers and convinces us to do the work he has called us to do. Not only does it help us accomplish the work supernaturally through the works of the Holy Spirit, but it also inspires us to do so.

I love Jesus parables that takes place in an agrarian/agricultural society. Although we may not be living on a farm today, these are simple and relatable stories. The complexity comes in the doing and sometimes in the hearing.

Are you doing the work of Christ in your life? Are you living obediently to the call of the Master by listening to his voice and following his ways? Are you serving Jesus in order to please him and gain eternal crowns in glory? Or are you doing so because you love this Lord who rescued you from the pain of sin and death.

My friend and mentor, Dr. Billy Abraham, is a prime example of a faithful servant. For seventy some-odd years he has been serving Christ. Not only in the class room as professor and teacher, but also in the field in Romania, Costa Rica, and in local churches like Highland Park and the Woodlands United Methodist Church (all of these locations he has been in the past few months and my list is not complete.) He serves even when he is tired.Is dedicated even when his devotion could possibly wain. His commitment to Christ is contagious and reflects the nature of a servant.

MY encourage is to lean into Jesus this very moment. Surrender your heart and allow him to satisfy all your needs, giving you faith and a sense of significance as you make disciples and build the kingdom for God and with God.

”O Lord God, to be co-laborers with you, Jesus, is such a privilege. It’s impossible to imagine that you would capture us by your grace and call us to your grand plan to save the world. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill us with your presence. Help us see the true purpose of our existence by walking in lock-step with your Spirit. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen