Sin, Faith, and Duty – Luke 17

If We Cause Others to Sin

Luke 17:1-3a says, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.  It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.” 

We are warned to watch ourselves because if we cause someone else to sin, God’s wrath will be upon us. 

If Someone Sins Against You

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

If someone sins against us, we should try to correct him.  If he repents, we should forgive him, no matter how many times his cycle of sin and repentance is repeated. 

If You Have Faith

Luke 17:6 says, “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.” 

I’ve never seen anyone tell a tree to uproot itself and replant itself in the sea, have you?  Does this mean that not one of us has faith as small as a mustard seed? 

If We Do Our Duty

Luke 17:7-10 says, “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?  Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  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.’ ”

When we have done our duty, we shouldn’t expect any accolades for it.

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