17 Jesus spoke to his disciples. “Things that make people sin are sure to come,” he said. “But how terrible it will be for anyone who causes those things to come! 2 Suppose people lead one of these little ones to sin. It would be better for those people to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck. 3 So watch what you do. “If your brother or sister sins against you, tell them they are wrong. Then if they turn away from their sins, forgive them. 4 Suppose they sin against you seven times in one day. And suppose they come back to you each time and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ You must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith!” 6 He replied, “Suppose you have faith as small as a mustard seed. Then you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up. Be planted in the sea.’ And it will obey you. 7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. And suppose the servant came in from the field. Will you say to him, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 No. Instead, you will say, ‘Prepare my supper. Get yourself ready. Wait on me while I eat and drink. Then after that you can eat and drink.’ 9 Will you thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 It’s the same with you. Suppose you have done everything you were told to do. Then you should say, ‘We are not worthy to serve you. We have only done our duty.’ ”
There’s a fair bit in this relatively short passage. Firstly the temptation to sin will always be there but warns not to temp another person into wrongdoing – steer clear of this! Believers are also instructed to rebuke a fellow believer if they know they are sinning and to forgive them over and over if necessary.
The apostles also ask Jesus how to increase their faith? On the surface this seems like an admirable request. The logic being the more faith I have the more I will achieve for God. Jesus goes on to explain that there is no more or less faith. Faith either exists or it doesn’t. He was speaking to apostles here. Clearly men of faith. You can almost hear Jesus frustration, guys you have all the faith you need let’s just get on with stepping out and using it! It’s the same for believers today. I have often wished I had more faith, if I’d had more faith in God there would have been different outcomes. I am challenged afresh knowing that mustard seed faith is enough.
Dear Lord, help me to trust you and use the faith I already have to honour and serve you amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods