Qualities of a Disciple (Luke 17:1-10)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 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. 3 So watch yourselves.

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

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 He replied, “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.

7 “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’? 8 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’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 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.’”  (Luke 17:1-10)

Learn it:

            In this passage Jesus is giving some more guidance on how a disciple of his should conduct themselves.  There are four things he covers in this passage.  First, a disciple should not be a person that causes someone else to sin (1-3a).  We have to watch how we live our lives and make sure we are leading others in the correct teachings of Jesus.  There is a strong warning against those who do lead others astray.  Second, he commands us to forgive those who have repented of their sins (3b-4).  It’s easy to get caught up in not trusting someone after they have sinned against you, but if someone does genuinely confess what they did, we should welcome them back into the community.  Sure, there might be a period where they are taken out of certain roles, but we forgive them.  There should not be any more tests or holding their past over them.     

            Thirdly, a disciple must display faith in their life (5-6).  Jesus makes it clear that the size of your faith is not important.  The smallest amount of faith can overcome immeasurable circumstances.  All that matters is that faith is present in our lives.  Lastly, a disciple should live a life of service (7-10).  We should not be doing things because we will get rewarded in heaven.  We do the work of God because we love him and want to do what pleases him. 

Live it:

            Being a disciple of Jesus means we must live a certain way.  We must fight against sin, forgive others, live a life of faith, and serve others.  All of this means we must die to our self and fix our eyes on Christ.  When you look at the four characteristics Jesus talks about in this passage how are they seen in your life?  What ones are you weak in and which ones do you do well?  Take time to reflect on how Jesus is encouraging his disciples to live.  Pray that God would give you the strength to live a life pleasing to him and that he would give you opportunities to be obedient to his word.  Being a disciple means you are out doing things that are glorifying God.    

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