Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke chapter 17 verses 5 through 10
Luke 17: 5 – 10
Now Hiring – ‘Slaves’
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
If you have been study God’s word with us, then you will know that I like to see if there are any other Gospels that talk about the same incident that we come to. However, I want to show you this time that though the other Gospels at first seem to list the same situation they are different. Let’s take a look at the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.
Matthew 17:19-21, “19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Mark 9:28-29, “28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
We see in both Matthew and Mark’s Gospel that they are writing about the same event which involved the casting out of a demon. Our Lord used similar words because He was dealing with the disciples ‘faith’. Now that we come to this portion in the Gospel of Luke we see that our Holy Majestic Ruler is dealing with another issue all together yet the major lesson for His disciples is again dealing with ‘Faith’. Can you see this point?
If you remember from our last study our Lord Jesus has made His Apostles aware the spirituality that they are lacking. So with absolute confidence in their Maser they ask Him to give them increased faith. He had previously given them faith to preach, heal and cast out evil spirits. This is the lesson that was taught in Matthew and Mark’s Gospel. Now they are asking for more faith so as to enable them to walk without causing others to stumble, and so as to enable them to continually forgive, to say nothing of the other attributes that they are going to need. They want to be men of such faith that they do not fail Him.
Our Holy Master and King Lord Jesus therefore points out that what they need is not a greater faith, but faith in Him. If their recognition of the greatness of The Son Of God is sufficient they will be able to do remarkable things, for they have been chosen for that very purpose.
But while guiding them in this our Lord Jesus recognizes the dangers for them in what He now says of overweening pride, and thus seeks to bring home to them the need to recognize that they will only have the power that He is describing because they are doing what they are commanded to do, and that they do it as servants and not as masters.
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
The Apostles are growing in their awareness of the importance of their position, and of their own weakness for the task. They feel therefore that they need their faith to be made stronger. But our Holy Adoni Yeshua, Lord Jesus, Who sees much further ahead, wishes to bring home to them that it is not the strength of their faith that matters. What matters is the One in Whom they have faith. If their faith is in the right Person, and they see Him for what He is and recognize their own position within His purposes, then even the tiniest faith will accomplish mighty things.