Summary: Jesus is teaching the followers an important attitude of effective discipleship. Let’s look at the key actions steps of this attitude that Jesus expects us to apply in our journey to fruitfulness.
Please read first: Luke 17:5-10
I feel extremely hot in this rope this morning. Isn’t it strange that we are already passing a week in October and still having 85 degree weather? What do you think this winter will be like? There’s a story of a tribe of Indians on the remote reservation, who asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
Also, being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?" "It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded. So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it’s definitely going to be a very cold winter." The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" "Absolutely," the man replied. "It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked. The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting wood like crazy." (Andrew Chan)
The Chief put his faith in the NWS as much as NWS put their faith on the Indians. How great it is?
The scripture lesson for this week covers Jesus’ answer to the disciple’s request to increase their faith. Maybe they were requesting this because of what Jesus just taught them in the previous passage, that they are required to forgive those who offend them seven times a day, and they felt it would need quite a lot of faith to keep forgiving others. So they asked the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
Maybe to their surprise, the Jesus answered, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Jesus is saying that you don’t need to increase it; all you need is a tiny bit of it, the size of a mustard seed. A mustard seed is proverbially small, and the Lord says that’s as much faith as you need to do the impossible. A mulberry tree is a large tree and can be as tall as 35 feet, and it has roots widely spread out, so it would need some incredible effort to plug it out and move it elsewhere, and it wouldn’t be possible to be planted in the sea because it floats on the water. It’s a metaphor for an impossible task.
Jesus is teaching the followers an important attitude of effective discipleship. Let’s look at the key actions steps of this attitude that Jesus expects us to apply in our journey to fruitfulness.