Sermon - 2 October 2016
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
October 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Luke 17:5-10
How Much Faith Does It Take?

 Scripture Readings for Sunday 2 October 2016

                         Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4;

                         Psalm 133;

                         2 Timothy 1:1-14;

                         Luke 17:5-10


Luke 17:5-10           New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith!”

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.

“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’? 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.’ 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.’ ”


Pastor's Summary of Luke 17:5-10

Jesus has told his followers that (1) there will be times when you lose your faith, but if you cause another to do so, your fate will be worse than death! (vv. 1-2) and (2) if a fellow Christian sins, rebuke him; if he repents, forgive him-however often he sins and repents (vv. 3-4). The twelve ("the apostles", v. 5) now speak to him, asking him to give them enough faith to remain faithful. (The "mustard seed", v. 6, is very small. The "mulberry tree" is large with an extensive root system making it hard to uproot.  It would not normally take root in the seas. ) Jesus tells them that with genuine faith, however, small, anything is possible.  Quality of faith matters more than quantity.

Jesus now tells a parable (vv. 7-10). Slaves were expected to do their duties, and no master would absolve a slave of them, so the disciples would answer of course not! to the question in v. 7: should a slave eat before his master? The master stands for God and the slave for his people.  The Greek word translated "worthless" (v. 10) means those to whom nothing is owed, to whom no favor is due, so God's people should never presume that their obedience to God's commands has earned them his favor. (The Revised English Bible translates v. 10b as We are servants and deserve no credit; we have only done our duty.) However, as 12:35-38 says, God will reward those who are prepared when Christ comes again.