The Power of Remembering Who You Are: Steve Hartman on Luke 17:1-10
August 31, 2014
What Jesus asks of his followers can seem impossible. Jesus told his disciples to forgive someone who kept on sinning against them, and his disciples seemed to feel the impossibility Jesus' high standard. Indeed, many things Jesus asks of his followers may seem too difficult. Here, Jesus answers his disciples by telling a parable about a servant and a master--a parable is surely not one that captures the imagination of American Christians. God is the Master. We are servant/slaves. Our natural reaction to thinking about the idea of God as our Master and ourselves as servant/slaves may be resistance. As we consider this parable Jesus tells, though, we will think about how the truth locked up in the Master/servant-slave relationship actually provides freedom. We will explore how when we remember who we are and who God is, we really can do what Jesus asks, even when we think we can't.
Luke 17: 1-10
1And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. 3Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”