Summary: A teaching message on Luke 17:1-6
Luke Series #74 August 04, 2002
Title: Two Responsibilities We Have for Other Christians.
Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. This morning we are in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke in our verse-by-verse teaching series out of that book.
Read Luke 17:1-6
When I was in basic training for the Army, the Drill Sergeant would often conduct surprise barrack’s inspections. The outcome of these inspections often determined whether we received a weekend pass or if we would spend the weekend cleaning the barracks. During the first of these inspections we learned a valuable lesson. On our first inspection, 38 soldiers passed the inspection and only to soldiers failed. Those who passed the inspection were ready to celebrate until they found out that those two people’s failures meant that everybody failed and therefore would be spending the weekend cleaning. You could imagine how everybody felt toward those two soldiers. Now the Drill Sergeant did not do this to be cruel but rather to teach us that we were a unit and not just individuals. As a unit we were all responsible for one another and one person’s actions could negatively affect everyone else. We had to learn that as soldiers we had a special type of interconnected relationship with each other and that this meant we had certain obligations to each other.
The same situation is also true for Christians. As Christians we are family, we have entered into a new kind of interconnected relationship with one another. As such we have certain obligations or responsibilities to fulfill within this relationship. In today’s text, Jesus gives us instructions regarding our responsibilities. In particular there are two responsibilities Jesus discusses here.
1. First, be careful that you’re not a negative spiritual influence. Luke 17:1- 3a
2. Second, be forgiving of those who have repeatedly hurt you but have repented. Luke 17:3b-6
Jesus probably spoke about these two particular responsibilities at this point because these attitudes and problems were particularly associated with the religious leaders of the day, i.e. the Pharisees. They tended to have a negative spiritual influence on people, which means that their behavior, teachings, an attitude did not exactly bring people closer to God. In fact Jesus had told them earlier that every convert they made was twice as much as son of Hell as they were (Matthew 23:15) and in Luke 11:52 he told them that they were actually a hindrance to people entering into the kingdom of God. The first problem was that they were a negative spiritual influence.
Religious leaders of the day were also unwilling to forgive those with sinned against them. In fact they tended to shun them and make great demands as a condition of forgivness. These two problems, being a negative spiritual influence and being unwilling to forgive, were things that Jesus did not want to see in his disciples so he gives us instructions regarding these particular problems in today’s text.