No Privatized Faith

Did you grow up in a family with siblings?  Did you ever disagree on anything with your brothers or sisters?  Ever get into an all-out brawl over anything?  If you were part of a family with siblings, and you answered no on any of the other questions, you are A) in total denial and unable to process reality correctly; or B) an alien for whom Scully and Mulder have been searching in vain for these two score years.

Point is…families fight. They just do.  The Christian church is oft described as the family of God…and we shouldn’t be surprised that as God’s family, we fight too!  Jesus is going to give us some instruction concerning this, in a series of sayings that require us to engage in some serious self-inspection.

We’ll be reading Luke 17:1-10 this Sunday (Father’s Day…happy happy! – then it’s off to the beach for Surf N Grill!!!!)

It’s my consideration that v1-2 are a transition, where Jesus is still talking about the bad behavior and attitudes of the Pharisees.  We aren’t told to judge them back…but that’s not to say that judgement is non-existent.  With eternity in view…what should we feel for those who try to put a stumbling block in our path of faith?

V3-4 change the focus to US.  How are WE supposed to deal with offenses within our community of faith?  Sluff things off, tell white lies that “nothing’s wrong”….or what does Jesus instruct?

If someone wrongs us, we’re commanded to forgive.  Not just once…but open-endedly.  How does that work for you?

By v5-10, the disciples are in a panic because this seems like impossible stuff to live out. They need more faith…they really want superpowers to accomplish this change in reaction.  But Jesus doesn’t seem to indicate that more faith is the answer.  What DOES Jesus indicate as the key to living out this forgiving love in real life?

Should be an interesting read this Sunday…hope to see you there!

3 comments

  1. I can’t help but think about what Jesus said in Luke 6:35
    “But love you enemies, do good and lend, HOPING FOR NOTHING IN RETURN; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. His is kind to the unthankful and evil.”

    and also Paul’s words in 1st Corinthians 13 when he explains that we can do a whole lot of good things but if we don’t do them from a motive of love, they become meaningless. And then he give us a definition of love that remains radical even to this day.

    I think this is the foundation of the unprofitable servent.

    But without the cross of Jesus Christ, these would only be words. I can say with 100% certainity that until Jesus Christ came into my life and His death found its way into my heart forgiveness and anything unprofitable was only a game I played out when it served my best interest.

  2. We are all part of God’s family and it is all about relationships. If we see everyone as family, wouldn’t we treat people differently? In a loving family relationship, everyone cares for each other, serves each other without expecting anything in return, forgives each other over and over, without even keeping count of the number of times. We hold each other accountable, only wanting the best for the ones we love. This love is a commitment for a lifetime and is definitely not easy, but nothing worthwhile comes easy. When God changed our hearts, He changed us to WANT to love and live this way, in ALL of our relationships. We know where the Power comes from and all we have to do is humble ourselves and ask Him, one day at a time.

  3. I think the initial verses are telling us we should feel sorry for those who put a stumbling block in front of us because God will deal with them…(vengeance is His) via millstones or however He see’s fit. Next is a tough directive… if we see our brother or sister going astray we should confront them…this can be tough but it could save them a lot of heartache if we prayerfully seek Jesus’ guidance and speak the truth in love to them, humbly remembering that we ourselves are only one step away from the same error… finally as we are offended we are to forgive, over and over and over… I understand why the disciples asked for more faith, it is a difficult task to die to our right to be right or our own way, or our own self preservation and choose to forgive. But, Jesus’ example of an earthly servant provides the simplistic representation of the same kind of reasoning we give to our own children, “because I said so”! We are called to simple obedience in this realm of forgiveness, He commands it and further in other places has added that we must forgive or we will not be forgiven either!! That is enough reason to fearfully give it our best shot …. He will equip us if we ask and keep on asking for His help in this!!

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